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PLUTARCH (Plutarchus), ca. ad 4^-1 20, 
was born at Chaeronea in Boeotia in cen- 
tral Greece, studied philosophy at Athens, 
and, after coming to Rome as a teacher in 
philosophy, was given consular rank by the 
emperor Trajan and a procurator ship in 
Greece by Hadrian. He was married and 
the father of one daughter and four sons. 
He appears as a man of kindly character 
and independent thought, studious and 
learned. , 

Plutarch wrote on many subjects. Most 
popular have always been the 46 Parallel 
Lives, biographies planned to be ethical ex- 
amples in pairs (in each pair, one Greek 
figure and one similar Roman) , though the 
last four lives are single. All are invaluable 
sources of our knowledge of the lives and 
characters of Greek and Roman statesmen, 
soldiers and orators. Plutarch's many other 
varied extant works, about 60 in number, 
are known as Moralia or Moral Essays. They 
are of high literary value, besides being of 
great use to people interested in philoso- 
phy, ethics and religion. 

The Loeb Classical Library edition of the 
Moralia is in fifteen volumes, volume XIII 
having two parts. 






THE LOEB CLASSICAL LIBRARY 



FOUNDED BY JAMES LOEB 1911 

EDITED BY 

JEFFREY HENDERSON 



PLUTARCH 

MORALIA 
V 

LCL 306 



PLUTARCH 

MORALIA 

VOLUME V 
WITH AN ENGLISH TRANSLATION BY 

FRANK COLE BABBITT 




HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS 

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS 
LONDON, ENGLAND 



First published 1936 
Reprinted 1957, 1962, 1969, 1984, 1993, 1999, 2003 

LOEB CLASSICAL LIBRARY® is a registered trademark 
of the President and Fellows of Harvard College 



ISBN 0-674-99337-3 



Printed and bound by Edwards Brothers, Ann Arbor, Michigan 
on acid-free paper made by Glatfelter, Spring Grove, Pennsylvania 



CONTENTS 

PREFACE vii 

TRADITIONAL ORDER OF THE MORAUA ix 

ISIS AND OSIRIS 

Introduction 3 

Text and Translation 6 

THE E AT DELPHI 

Introduction 194 

Text and Translation 198 

THE ORACLES AT DELPHI NO LONGER 
GIVEN IN VERSE 

Introduction 256 

Text and Translation 258 

THE OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES 

Introduction 348 

Text and Translation 350 

INDEX 503 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/moraliainfiftee05plut 



PREFACE 

A proof of Plutarch's versatility may be found in the 
fact that the essays contained in this volume of the 
Moralia will probably appeal to a different class of 
readers from those who found the preceding volumes 
of interest. The Egyptian religion and the oracle at 
Delphi stand apart from the sayings of kings and 
commanders, for example, or the history of Rome, or 
the exploits of Alexander the Great. Yet they too 
have their appeal, and many will doubtless find them 
exceedingly interesting. The task of translation has 
not been easy, but it is hoped that the English 
version may be intelligible. 

The present volume was written before Vol. IV. in 
order to take advantage of Vol. III. of the new 
Teubner edition (Ed. W. R. Paton, M. Pohlenz, 
W. Sieveking, Leipzig, 1929), and the 3rd fasicule 
of Vol. II. containing the I sis and Osiris. 

The third volume of the new Teubner Edition is 
much superior to the first volume ; the readings of 
the mss. are more accurately recorded, as well as the 
conjectures, of which a sensible selection is given, and 
the modesty and moderation of Pohlenz 's suggestions 
contrast favourably with the certainty and assurance 
which used to characterize Wilamowitz-Mollendorff's 
" corrections." 

vii 



PREFACE 

The Pythian Dialogues had already been edited by 
W. R. Paton (Berlin, 1893), and afforded a fairly full 
collation of the mss. Some few of Paton s con- 
jectures are brilliant, and his contributions to the 
understanding of these essays will always stand to his 
credit. 

F. C. B. 

Trinity College, 
Hartford, Conn. ' 

January 1935. 



Vlil 



THE TRADITIONAL ORDER of the Books of 
the Moralia as they appear since the edition of 
Stephanus (1572), and their division into volumes 
in this edition. 



PAGE 

I. De liberis educandis (Hepi Traiowv aycoyfjs) . 1a 

Quomodo adolescens poetas audire debeat 

(ricOs Bel rov veov TTOt,rjfj.arojv aKOveiv) . . 17d 

De recta ratione audiendi (Ilepi rov aKoveiv) . 37b 

Quomodo adulator ab amieo internoseatur 

(Ilto? av Tis Sia/opu'eie rov KoXaKa rov <£i'Aou) . 48e 

Quomodo quis suos in virtute sentiat profectus 

(Ilais av ris aladoLTO eavrov 7rpoK6irrovros err* 

apery) ....... 75a 

II. De capienda ex inlmicis utilitate (Iltus- av ru 

vrr* ex8pcov dxfreXolro) . . . . 86 B 

De amicorum multitudine ((IIept noAvfiiMas) . 93a 

De fortuna (llepi ru^?) .... 97c 

De virtute et vitio (llepl aperrjs teal KaKias) . 100b 
Consolatio ad Apollonium (llapaixvOrjriKos npos 

1 AttoXXcovlov) . . . . . 10 If 

De tuenda sanitate praecepta (Tyietvd nap- 

ayyeXfiara) . . . . . .122b 

Coniugalia praecepta (TafiiKa vapayyeXfiara) . 138a 
Septem sapientium convivium (T<Zv enra oo<f>u>v 

OVp.7TQOtOl>) ...... 146b 

De superstitione (llept oeLoibaipLovLas) . . 164e 

III. Reguni et imperatorum apephthegmata ('A7ro- 

<f)6ey/.iara fiaoiXeojv Kal orparrjytov) . . 172a 

Apophthegmata Laconica {* Amxftieyfiara Aa- 

kcovikol) ....... 208a 

Instituta Luco;]ica(Td7raAcud rojv AaKeBatfioviajv 

€7TlT7]S€V(J.aTa) ...... 236F 

ix 



THE TRADITIONAL ORDER 



PAOE 



Lacaenarum apophthegmata (KaKaivCjv d-no- 

<f>6dyiL<iTa) ...... 240c 

Mulierum virtutes (TvvaiKiov dperai) . . 242e 

IV. Quaestiones Romanae (Atrm 'Pco/zar/ca). . 263d 

Quaestiones Graecae (AtTia 'EAA^vt/ca) . . 29 Id 
Parallela Graeca et Romana (Lvvaytoyq laro- 

pia>v irapa\Atf\wv *HjXXr)vi,Kajv /cat 'Pa)/u,at/ca)y) . 305a 
De fortuna Romanorum (Ilcpt rrjs T«>/*atW 

rvxns) ....... 316b 

De Alexandri magni fortuna aut virtute, li- 

bri ii (Ilcpt rrjs 'AAe^dvSpov rvxyfS ^ dperrjs, 

AoyotjS') 326d 

Bellone an pace clariores fuerint Athenienses 

(UoT€pov 'AOrjvcuoi Kara rroAe/xov rj Kara oo<j>lav 

ivho£oT€poi) ...... 345c 

V. De Iside et Osiride (Uepl "loiSos /cat 'OaipiSos). Sole 

De E apud Delphos (Uepl rod EI rod cv AcA^ofc) 384c 
De Pythiae oraculis (Ilcpt rod fxrj xpaV tytp/npa 

vvv tt)v Hvdlav) ..... 394 d 
De defectu oraculorum (Uepl rdv tKXeXomoTcov 

XprjarTjpicov) ...... 409 e 

VL An virtus doceri possit (Et hihaKrov r) dpzrrj) . 439a 

De virtute morali (Ilcpt rijs rjdiKrjs dperrjs) . 440 d 

De cohibenda ira (Ilcpt dopyrjalas) . . 452 e 

De tranquillitate animi (Ilcpt evdvfilas) . . 464e 

De fraterno amore (IIcpl <£tAaocA<£tas) . . 478a 
De amore prolis (Ilcpt rrjs etV rd €Kyova <f>iXo- 

oropyias) ...... 493a 

An vitiositas ad infelicitatem sufficiat (Et 

avrdpKTjs r) /ca/cta rrpos /ca/cooat/Ltoytav) . . 498a 
Animine an corporis affectiones sint peiores 

(Uorepov rd rrjs fax*}* V ra T °v oo>iiwfos rrddt] 

Xelpova) ....... 500 b 

De garrulitate (Ilcpt aooAcaxtas) . . . 502b 

De curiositate (Ilcpt noXinTpayfioovur^s) . . 515b 

VII. De cupiditate divitiarum (Ilcpt <£tAo7rAoim'as) . 523c 

De vitioso pudore (Ilcpt Bvacomas) . . 528c 

De invidia et odio (Ilcpt <f>96vov /cat pLioovs) . 536e 
De se ipsum citra invidiam laudando (Ilcpi rod 

iavrov encuvelu dvenKpOoucos) . . . 539a 
De sera numinis vindicta (Ilcpt rdv vtto rod 

dciov jSpaoco^ Tiiiojpovfieva)!') . . . 548a 



THE TRADITIONAL ORDER 

PAGE 

De fato (IIcpi elfiapfAevys) .... 568u 
Degenio Socratis(ricpt tov £o//cpaTous Sat/iovtou) 575a 
De exilio (TUpl </>vyrjs) ..... 599 \ 
Consolatio ad uxorem (UapafivdrjTiKos npos ttjv 

ywaiKa) ....... 608a 

VIII. Quaestionum convivalium libri vi (2i//x7ro<na- 

ku>v 7Tpop\r)fidTCi)v jStjSAia £"') . . . 612c 

I, 612c; II, 629b; III, 644e; IV, 659e ; V, 

672d ; VI, 686a 
IX. Quaestionum convivalium libri iii (Lvfinoaia- 

kG>v TrpopXtrndriuv /?t/?Ata y) 697c 

VII, 697c ; VIII, 716d ; IX, 736c 
Amatorius ('Epam/cds) .... 748e 

X. Amatoriae narrationes ('Epom/cat Birjyrfacis) . 77 1e 
Maxime cum principibus philosopho esse dis- 

serendum (tlcpl tov on /-taAiora tols yyefiom 

Set tov <J>lX.6oo<J>ov SiaAcycatfat) . . . 776a 

Ad principem ineruditum (IIpo? rjycfiova dirai- 

Sevrov) 779c 

An seni respublica gerenda sit (Et -rrpcopirrepa) 

TTo\lT€VT€OV) ...... 7 83 A 

Praecepta gerendae reipubiicae (IIoAiTt/cd 

Trapayy4\p.ara) . . . . . 798 a 

De unius in republica dominatione, populari 
statu, et paucorum imperio (Uepi povapxlas 
/cat brjiiOKpaTias /cat dAtyapxi'a?) • • • 826a 

De vitando aere alieno (Ilepi tov fii) Betv oavct- 

boSai) 827 d 

Vitae decern oratorum (Ilept twv 8c'/ca pnqro- 

pcov) 832b 

Comparationis Aristophanis et Menandri com- 
pendium (LvyKploecos * ApiaTo<j>di'Ovs /cat Mev- 
dvSpov €TTnop^fj) ..... 853a 

XL De Herodoti malignitate (Ilcpt tt}s 'Hpoodrou 

KOLKorjdelas) ...... 854e 

*De placitis philosophorum, libri v (Ilepl twv 

dptQKovTwv tois <f>iAooo<f>ois , jSijSAta e') . . 874 d 

Quaestiones naturales (Amat <j>voiKaL) . . 911c 

XII. De facie quae in orbe lunae apparet (Tlepl too 

€p.<j>aiVOp.€VOV TtpOOtOTTOV TW KVkXcO TTJS tfcArj- 

vt)s) . . . . . 920a 

* This work, by Aetius, not Plutarch, is omitted 
in the current edition. 

xi 



THE TRADITIONAL ORDER 

PAG I 

De primo frigido (llepl tov irptuTcos i/jvxpov) . 915 i 
Aquane an ignis sit utilior (Tlept tov noTepov 

vhojp r) nvp xpr)otfj.a>T€pou) .... 955 1 • 
Terrestriane an aquatilia animalia sint callidi- 

ora (HoTcpa tcjv C4 )(X)V ^povi/xcurepa ra x^poala 

7} ra cpvbpa) ...... 959a 

Bruta animalia ratione uti, sive Gryllus (Ucpl 

rov ra dXoya Xoyco xPV a @ at ) • • • 985 d 

De esu carnium orationes ii (Hepi oapKo<j>ayias 

Xoyoi j8') 993a 

XIII. Platonicae quaestiones (IlXaTOiviKd J^T^/tara) . 999c 
De animae procreatione in Timaeo (Hepi rfjs eV 

TijJLaicp ipvxoyovias) ..... 1012a 

Compendium libri de animae procreatione in 
Timaeo ('Em-TO/r^ tov irepl ttjs €v tu> Tiju,ouoj 
ipvxoyovias) ...... 1030d 

De Stoicorum repugnantiis (Hepi Ztcdiklov ivav- 

TtonxaTwv) ...... 1033 a 

Compendium argument! Stoicos absurdiora 
poetis dicere (Zvvot/as tou on 7rapaSofoT€pa 01 
Utojlkol tG)v Txoir\TOiv Xeyovoi) . . . 1057c 

De communibus notitiis adversus Stoicos (Ilepi 

TCOV KOIVCOV IvVOl&V 7TpOS TOVS TiTWlKOVs) • 1058E 

XIV. Non posse suaviter vivi secundum Epicurum 

("On oi)8e t^rju ioTiv rjBicos kolt 'EmKOvpov) . 10S(k 
Adversus Colotem (Hpos KcoXwttjv v-ncp tcjv 

dXXtov (j>iXoa6<j>cov) ..... 1 10T i> 
An recte dictum sit Iatenter esse vivendum (Ei 

KaXws eipnrjTai to Xd0€ fiiwoas) . . . 1128a 

De musica (llepl ftovoiKrjs) • 1131a 

XV. Fragments 



Xll 



ISIS AND OSIRIS 
(DE ISIDE ET OSIRIDE) 



INTRODUCTION 

Plutarch's knowledge of Egyptology was not pro- 
found. It is true that he once visited Egypt, but how 
long he stayed and how much he learned we have no 
means of knowing. It is most likely that his treatise 
represents the knowledge current in his day, derived, 
no doubt, from two sources : books and priests. The 
gods of Egypt had early found a welcome in other 
lands, in Syria and Asia Minor, and later in Greece 
and Rome. That the worship of Isis had been intro- 
duced into Greece before 330 b.c. is certain from an 
inscription found in the Peiraeus (/.G. II. 1 168, or 
II. 2 337 ; Dittenberger, Sylloge*, 280, or 551 2 ), in 
which the merchants from Citium ask permission to 
found a shrine of Aphrodite on the same terms as 
those on which the Egyptians had founded a shrine of 
Isis. In Delos there was a shrine of the Egyptian 
gods, and in Plutarch's own town they must have 
been honoured, for there have been found two dedica- 
tions to Serapis, Isis, and Anubis, 6 as well as numerous 
inscriptions recording the manumission of slaves, 
which in Greece was commonly accomplished by 
dedicating them to a god, who, in these inscriptions, 
is Serapis (Sarapis). An idea of the widespread 

Moralia, 678 c. 

h Of. Collitz, Sammlung der griechischen Dialekt- 
inschriften, vol. i. pp. 149-155. 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

worship of Egyptian gods in Greek lands may be 
obtained from Roseher, Ausfti Miches Lexikon der grie- 
chischen und romischen Mythologies vol. ii. pp. 379-392, 
where the cults of Isis are listed. 

Another source of information available to Plutarch 
was books. Herodotus in the fifth century B.C. had 
visited Egypt, and he devoted a large part of the 
second book of his History to the manners and 
customs of the Egyptians. Plutarch, however, draws 
but little from him. Some of the information that 
Plutarch gives us may be found also in Diodorus 
Siculus, principally in the first book, but a little also 
in the second. Aelian and, to a less extent, other 
writers mentioned in the notes on the text, have 
isolated fragments of information which usually agree 
with Plutarch and Diodorus. All this points to the 
existence of one or more books, now lost, which con- 
tained this information, possibly in a systematic form. 
As a result, Plutarch has many things right and some 
wrong. Those who are interested in these matters 
may consult Erman-Grapow, Wbrterbuch der cigyp- 
tischen Sprache (Leipzig, 1925-1929), and G. Parthey's 
edition of the Isis and Osiris (Berlin, 1850). 

One matter which will seem very unscientific to the 
modern reader is Plutarch's attempts to explain the 
derivation of various words, especially his attempt to 
derive Egyptian words from Greek roots ; but in this 
respect he sins no more than Plato, who has given 
us some most atrocious derivations of Greek words, 
especially in the Cratylus ; nor is it more disastrous 
than Herodotus's industrious attempts (in Book II) 
to derive all manner of Greek customs, ritual, and 
theology from Egypt. 

In spite of minor errors contained in the Isis and 



ISIS AND OSIRIS 

Osiris, no other work by a Greek writer is more 
frequently referred to by Egyptologists except, 
possibly, Herodotus. Connected information may, 
of course, be found in histories of Egypt, such as 
those of Breasted and Baikie. 

The work is dedicated to Clea, a cultured and 
intelligent woman, priestess at Delphi, to whom 
Plutarch dedicated also his book on the Bravery of 
Women (Moralia, 242 e-263 c, contained in vol. iii. of 
L.C.L. pp. 473-581). It is, no doubt, owing to this 
that the author, after he has unburdened himself of 
his information on Egyptology, goes on to make some 
very sane remarks on the subject of religion and the 
proper attitude in which to approach it. This part 
of the essay ranks with the best of Plutarch's writing. 

The ms. tradition of the essay is bad, as may be 
seen from the variations found in the few passages 
quoted by later writers such asEusebius and Stobaeus ; 
yet much has been done by acute scholars to make 
the text more intelligible. It may not be invidious 
to mention among those who have made special con- 
tributions to the study of this work W. Baxter, who 
translated it (1684), and S. Squire, who edited it 
(1744). Many other names will be found in the 
critical notes. 

The essay is No. 118 in Lamprias's list of Plutarch's 
works, where the title is given as an account of Isis 
and Serapis. 

a All the Greek and Roman sources for the religion of 
the Egyptians will be found conveniently collected in 
Hopfner, Fontes Historiae Religionis Aegyptiacae> Parts I. 
and II. (Bonn, 1922-1923). 



(351) nEPI IZIAOZ KAI 0SIPIA02 

1 . Yldvra fiev, to KAea, Set ray add rovs vovv h'ypv- 
ras atrctaflat trapa rcov detbv, fxaXicrra 8k rrjs rrept 
avTtov i7narrifxrjg ogov Z^lktov iarw avdpamois 
(A€tl6vt€s tvxofjieda rvyxdvew Trap 9 avrcov €K€wcdv, 
cos ov8ev dvdpLoTTtp AajSety jjl€l£ov ov8e l xapUmoBai 
D 0eco o€[LVOT€pov dArjOecas. rdXXa fiev yap dvdpco- 
7tols 6 6eos &v 8iovrai 8l8ojglv, vov 8e /cat cfrpovrj- 
0€tos fJL€Ta8i8a>aiv, 2 ot/ceta K€KTrjjxivos ravra /cat 
Xpcofievos. ov yap dpyvptp /cat xpt>cra> p,aKapiov 
to delov, ov8e fipovrals /cat Ktpavvols loxvpov, 
dAA' €7ncjT7]fAr) /cat cf>povrjo€L. /cat tovto /cdAAtcrra 
Trdvrojv "Oiirjpos tov €tpr}K€ nepl Oecov dvacjidey- 

£dpL€VOS 

fj fjidv d[JL(f)OT€pOLGLV opLOP yevos 17S' ta Trdrprj, 
dAAa 7j€vs rrporepos yeyovci /cat irXeiova fj8ei, 

G€jjivoT€pav dne^rjve rr/v rod A to? r^yejioviav im- 
E GTrjjJLr) /cat cro</>ta 3 TrpeGpvrepav ovGav. otp,at 8e /cat 

1 ov$€ Holwerda : ov. 

2 vov . . . ixtTahihoooiv added by Wyttenbach from Eustratius, 
Comment, ad Aristot. Ethic, vi. 8. 

3 i-JTLOTrjiir} koX oo<f>ia Markland : e7rtar^/x^j kcu oo<f>las. 

a The priestess for whom Plutarch composed his collection 
of stories about the Bravery of Women (Moralia, 242 e ff.). 
6 



ISIS AND OSIRIS 

1. All good things, my dear Clea, a sensible men 
must ask from the gods ; and especially do we pray 
that from those mighty gods we may, in our quest, 
gain a knowledge of themselves, so far as such a thing 
is attainable by men. b For we believe that there is 
nothing more important for man to receive, or more 
ennobling for God of His grace to grant, than the 
truth. God gives to men the other things for which 
they express a desire, but of sense and intelligence 
He grants them only a share, inasmuch as these are 
His especial possessions and His sphere of activity. 
For the Deity is not blessed by reason of his possession 
of gold and silver, nor strong because of thunder and 
lightning, but through knowledge and intelligence. 
Of all the things that Homer said about the gods, he 
has expressed most beautifully this thought : d 

Both, indeed, were in lineage one, and of the same country, 
Yet was Zeus the earlier born and his knowledge was 
greater. 

Thereby the poet plainly declares that the primacy 
of Zeus is nobler since it is elder in knowledge and in 

b Cf. Plutarch, Moralia, 780 f-781 a and 355 c, infra. 
c Cf. Themistius, Oration xxxiii. p. 365 b-d. 
d Iliad, xiii. 354 ; quoted also in Moralia, 32 a, and Life 
and Writings of Homer, ii. 114. 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

rfjs ala>vtov £<Jorjs, tjv 6 Beds eiXrjxev, evoaipiov 
tlvai to rfj yvwoei fj/fj 7rpoaTroXiTT€Zv tol yLyvopLeva* 
rod Se yiyvwoKeiv ra ovtcl /cat (frpoveiv d^atpedev- 
tos, ov filov aXXa %povov ^tvai tj)v ddavaoiav . 

2. Ato OeiorrjTos ope^is eoriv rj rfjs dXrjdelag 
jUidXtara Se rrjs rrepl Oecov €<f>ecns, ojorrep dvdXrjifjLV 
lepwv ttjv pLadrjotv e^oucra /cat rr]v ^ttjolv, dyvelas 
re Traces /cat vecoKopias epyov ootcoTtpov, oi>x 
tJklotcl oe rfj deep ravrr] Ke-^apicrpiivov , rjv ov 
0€pa7T€V€LS e^aipeTOJS oo<f>r)v /cat <f>iX6oo<j>ov ovoav, 
F a>s" rowo/xa ye 1 (frpd^eiv eot/ce, ttclvtos pu&XXov avrij 
to €iO€vai /cat ttjv €7noTrjpL7]v Trpoor^Kovoav. f EA- 
Xt^vikov yap rj 'lots cart /cat 6 Tv<f>oJv, ojv 2 iroXipios 
rfj deep /cat St' dyvoiav /cat omdrr^v rervficopLevos 
/cat oiaoiTtbv /cat d<f>avil>oJv tov lepov Xoyov, ov rj 
deos ovvdyti /cat owtLOtjol /cat irapaoloojoi rot? 
TtXovpievois , cos Upcooeojg 3 oaxfipovt fiev ivoeXex&s 
oiaiTT) /cat fiptopaTcov 7roXXa>v /cat dcfrpoStoitov 
352 a7ro^ats KoXovovorjs* to aKoXaoTov /cat (friXrjSovov , 
ddpviTTovs 8 e /cat OTeppds iv Upols XaTpeias 
idtt^ovorjs viropbiveiv , <Lv reAos" ioTtv rj tov TrpojTOV 
/cat Kvptov /cat votjtov yvwois, ov rj Beds napaKaXel 
£,rjT€iv Trap avTrj /cat /xer' clvt fjs ovTa /cat auvoVra. 
to£> S' lepov Tovvopua /cat oa<j>(x)s inayyeXXeTai /cat 

1 yc Reiske : re. 

2 cav added by Reiske and placed by Bernardakis. 

3 <bs Upa>cr€cos F.C.B. (or perhaps oaicos ko.1 <jto<f>povi£,ofx€vois 
. . . KoXovovoais . . . iOt^ovoatg) : deiwoecos. 

4 koXovovotjs] most mss. have xoXovovaais. 

a Cf. Moralia, 781 a. 

b Plutarch is attempting to connect " Isis " with ol$a, know, 
and " Typhon " with Tv<j>w, puff up. See, however, 375 c, infra. 

c Cf. 355 e, infra. 
8 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 351-352 

wisdom. I think also that a source of happiness in 
the eternal life, which is the lot of God, is that events 
which come to pass do not escape His prescience. But 
if His knowledge and meditation on the nature of 
Existence should be taken away, then, to my mind, 
His immortality is not living, but a mere lapse of 
time. a 

2. Therefore the effort to arrive at the Truth, and 
especially the truth about the gods, is a longing for 
the divine. For the search for truth requires for its 
study and investigation the consideration of sacred 
subjects, and it is a work more hallowed than any 
form of holy living or temple service ; and, not least 
of all, it is well-pleasing to that goddess whom you 
worship, a goddess exceptionally wise and a lover of 
wisdom, to whom, as her name at least seems to 
indicate, knowledge and understanding are in the 
highest degree appropriate. For Isis is a Greek 
word, 6 and so also is Typhon, her enemy, who is 
conceited, as his name implies, 6 because of his ignor- 
ance and self-deception. He tears to pieces and 
scatters to the winds the sacred writings, which the 
goddess collects and puts together and gives into 
the keeping of those that are initiated into the holy 
rites, since this consecration, by a strict regimen and 
by abstinence from many kinds of food and from 
the lusts of the flesh, curtails licentiousness and the 
love of pleasure, and induces a habit of patient sub- 
mission to the stern and rigorous services in shrines, 
the end and aim of which is the knowledge of Him 
who is the First, the Lord of All, the Ideal One. c Him 
does the goddess urge us to seek, since He is near 
her and with her and in close communion. The name 
of her shrine also clearly promises knowledge and 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(352) yvcoaiv Kal elhr\oiv rod ovrog- ovopid^erai yap 
laelov cog elaofxevcov 1 ro ov, dv fxerd Xoyov Kai 
ooicog €ts rd lepd rrapeXOcofxev rrjg deov. 

3. "Ert 7ToAAot fJL€V 'EtpfJLOV, TToXXol Se YlpOpLT)- 

Oicog loToprjKaow avrrjv Ovyarepa, cog 2 rov* fiev 
erepov ao<f>iag Kal npovoiag, 'Epfifjv 8e ypap,- 

B fjLdTLKrjs Kal fxovatKrjs evperrjv vopbil^ovreg. Sto /cat 
rtov ev* 'Eo/xou ttoXo, MlOWcov rrjv uporipav *loiv 
a/xa /cat At/catoowqv KaXovoi, oo<f>rjv oSaav* coorrep 
eiprjrat, Kal heiKvvovaav ra 6eta rolg dXrjdcog Kai 
hiKaicog L€pa<f)6pois Kal lepooroXoig rrpoaayopevo- 
fievoig. ovroi S* elalv ol rov lepov Xoyov rrepl Oecov 
Trdorjs Kadapevovra SetatSat/xovtas' Kal Trepiepyiag 
ev rfj foxf) <f)€povr€s cownep iv Ktarr] Kal nepc- 
oreXXovreg, rd fiev jxeXava Kal gkicoStj rd 8e <f>avepd 
Kal Xafji7Tpd rrjg rrepl Oecov VTrohrjXovvreg* olrjoecog, 
ota /cat Trepl rrjv iaOrjra rrjv lepdv aiTO(j>aiv€rai. 
Sto Kal rd Koafi€Lo6aL rovroig rovg arro6av6vr ag 
'IcriaKovg ov/jl/HoXov iorc rovrov rov Xoyov elvai 

C /x£r' avrcov, Kal rovrov exovrag, dXXo 8e ttTySeV, 
e/cet j8aSt£€tv. ovre yap <f>i,Xoo6<f>ovg 7rooycovo- 
rpo<f>iaL y co KAe'a, /cat rpif3covo<f>op tat ttoiovoiv, ovr 
'lataKovg al XivocrroXtac Kal ^vprjcreig 1 ' aAA' 'Iata/cos 

1 €Loofi€va>v Baxter: eloofisvov. 

2 to? Reiske: d>v ov. 3 rov Basel ed. of 1542: to. 

4 iv added by Baxter. 

5 ao(f>r}v odoav Baxter : oo<f>lav. 

6 vttoBtjXovvtcs one ms. and Meziriacus: wToh-qXovvra. 

7 (vpTjO€is Reiske : (vprjais. 

a As if derived from o?Sa, know, and 6V, being. 

h Cf. 355 f, infra. 

e Cf. 365 f, infra, and Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis, 
I 106'. 1, 21 (p. 382, Potter). 
10 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 352 

comprehension of reality ; for it is named Iseion, 
to indicate that we shall comprehend reality if in a 
reasonable and devout frame of mind we pass within 
the portals of her shrines. 

3. Moreover, many writers have held her to be the 
daughter of Hermes, 6 and many others the daughter 
of Prometheus, 6 because of the belief that Prometheus 
is the discoverer of wisdom and forethought, and 
Hermes the inventor of grammar and music. For 
this reason they call the first of the Muses at Her- 
mopolis Isis as well as Justice : for she is wise, as 
I have said, d and discloses the divine mysteries to 
those who truly and justly have the name of 
" bearers of the sacred vessels " and " wearers of the 
sacred robes/' These are they who within their own 
soul, as though within a casket, bear the sacred 
writings about the gods clear of all superstition and 
pedantry ; and they cloak them with secrecy, thus 
giving intimations, some dark and shadowy, some 
clear and bright, of their concepts about the gods, 
intimations of the same sort as are clearly evi- 
denced in the wearing of the sacred garb. e For this 
reason, too, the fact that the deceased votaries of 
Isis are decked with these garments is a sign that 
these sacred writings accompany them, and that they 
pass to the other world possessed of these and of 
naught else. It is a fact, Clea, that having a beard 
and wearing a coarse cloak does not make philo- 
sophers, nor does dressing in linen and shaving the 
hair make votaries of Isis ; but the true votary of Isis 

d Supra, 351 f. 

e Cf. Dittenberger, Sylloge Tnscriptionum Oraecarum % 
No. 754 (not included in the third edition), or Altertiimer 
von Pergamon, viii. 2, p. 248, no. 326 ; also Moralia, 382 c. 

11 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(352) ioriv ojs d\y]dajs 6 t<x SeiKvvfieva /cat SpojjJLeva 
rrepl tovs Oeovs tovtovs, otolv 1 vojjlo) rrapaXdfir) , 2 
Xoyco ^-qratv /cat <f)iXooo<j>o>v rrepl tt}s iv aureus 

0X1)6 €LdS. 

4. 'E7T€t TOVS y€ TToXXoVS /Cat TO KOWOTCLTOV 
TOVTO KOLl GfJUKpOTCLTOV XeXrjOeV, €<£* OTtp TOLS 

t plxas ol lepels drroT 18 evrat /cat AtvdV eodrjras 
<f>opovoLV ol ptev ouS' oXcus <f>povT l^ov o iv elSevai 
D rrepl tovtojv, ol 8e tcov p,ev iplojv axirrep twv 
Kpewv ae/3op,evovs to rrpofiaTov drrexeoOai Xeyovou, 
^vpclaQai* Se rd? Ke^aXds Std to rrevdos, <f>opelv 8e 
to\ Xwd Sta ttjv xpoaVy rjv to Xivov avOovv olvltjol 
tjj 7T€pt€XovGrj tov Ko&fiov aWepico x a P 07T ° rr i TL 
rrpooeoiKviav. rj 8' dXrjOrjs atrta /zt'a rrdvTojv eart* 
" KaOapov yap/* fj (f>r]oiv 6 HXaTOjv, " ov Oepurov 
arrTecrdai /jltj Kadapcp' " rreptTTCo/jLa 8e Tpo(/>rjs /cat 
OKvfSaXov ov8ev ayvov ov8e icadapov ioTtv e/c 8e 

7T€pLTTCOfldTOJV €piOL /Cat Act^Vat KoX T/Dt^69 /Cat 

6vv)(€s avafivovTCii /cat /JAaaraVoucrt. yo\otov ow 
E rjv tols ptv avTcov rpl^as ev rats' ay^ctat? a7ro- 
TiOeadai £vpov[i€vovs* /cat Xecatvopievovs rrdv opiaXtos 
to cra)/xa, tols 8e rcov dpzpL/jLOLTOjv d/x776^€a0at /cat 
<f>opelv /cat yd/> roV 'HatoSov oieodac Set Aeyovra 

1 orav] arr' av Bentley. 

2 irapaXafirj Aldine : napa/SaXy. 

3 ^vpeioBai should probably be always read in Plutarch 
(e.g. 180 b) instead of ' £vp€iv or £vpav. gvpeoOai. 

4 £vpovii€vovs\ also fu/3o>/xcVouj. 
12 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 352 

is he who, when he has legitimately received what is 
set forth in the ceremonies connected with these gods, 
uses reason in investigating and in studying the truth 
contained therein. 

4. It is true that most people are unaware of this 
very ordinary and minor matter : the reason why the 
priests remove their hair and wear linen garments. 3 
Some persons do not care at all to have any knowledge 
about such things, while others say that the priests, 
because they revere the sheep, 5 abstain from using its 
wool, as well as its flesh ; and that they shave their 
heads as a sign of mourning, and that they wear their 
linen garments because of the colour which the flax 
displays when in bloom, and which is like to the 
heavenly azure which enfolds the universe. But for 
all this there is only one true reason, which is to be 
found in the words of Plato c : " for the Impure to 
touch the Pure is contrary to divine ordinance.' ' No 
surplus left over from food and no excrementitious 
matter is pure and clean ; and it is from forms of 
surplus that wool, fur, hair, and nails originate and 
grow. d So it would be ridiculous that these persons 
in their holy living should remove their own hair by 
shaving and making their bodies smooth .ill over, e 
and then should put on and wear the hair of domestic 
animals. We should believe that when Hesiod f said, 

a Cf. Herodotus, ii. 37 and 81. 

6 In Sais and Thebai's according to Strabo, xvii. 40 
(p. 812). 

c Phaedo, 67 d ; cf. Moralia, 108 d. 

d Cf. Apuleins, Apology , chap. 26. 

• Cf. Herodotus, ii. 37. 

1 Works and Days, 742-743. The meaning of these some- 
what cryptic lines is, of course, that one should not pare 
one's nails at table; cf. also Moralia, ed. Bernardakis, vol. 
vii. p. 90. 

13 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(jLrjS' oltto rrevro^oio 0ed>v eV Satrt OaXtLrj 
avov ol7t6 x^ C0 P°v rdpiveiv aWojvi oiSrjpto, 

$i8dcrK€LV on Set KaOapovg t&v toiovtojv ycvo- 
putvovs ioprd^eiv , ovk eV avrals rats lepovpy cats 
XpfjcrOcu KaOdpcrei /cat a<j>aipioei t&v 7repiTTa>pd- 
tojv. to he Xivov <j)V€Tai pev i£ ddavdrov ttjs yfjs 
F /cat KdpiTov iScbSi/JLOV aVaSt'Sojcrt, Xirrjv 8e irapeyzi 
/cat Kadapdv iadrjra Vat rep gkcttovtl p,rj fiapv- 
vovoav, evdpfioarov Se rrpos iraaav wpav, TJKiara 
Se <f)QeipoTToiov y <hs XeyovGC irepl <Sv trepos Adyos. 
5. Ot S' leptls ovroj ovoxzpaivovoi tt)v twv 
nepirrcopdrajv <f>voiv, ware p,fj povov Trapavreiodai 
twv oGirpiojv rd noXXd /cat ra)v Kpeciov ra /x-qXeta 
/cat t/'aa, ttoXXtjv rroiovvra rrepirraxjiv, dXXd /cat 
tovs dXas Ttbv ovrliov ev rats dyveiais a<f>aipeiv, 
dXXag r€ ttXzIovcls alrias k')(ovTas /cat to 1 7totl- 
KO)T€povs /cat f3pa)TiKa)T€povs ttol€iv iTTtdrjyovTas 
rrjv ope^Lv. to yap, ojs * ApioTayopas eXeye, Sta. 

TO 7T7jyi>V[JL€VOlS 7ToXXd TOiV jJLLKpCOV ^COOJV €V- 

a7TodvrjGK€iv aAt07co/z€i/a fAT) KaOapovs Aoyt£ecr#at 
tovs dXas evrjdes cart. 
353 KiyovTai he /cat tov *Attw ck <f>peaTOS lolov 
ttoti^ziv, tov §€ NeiXov TTavTaTraatv dnelpyeLV, ov 
piapov rjyovpLtvoi 2 to v$a>p Sta, tov /cpo/cdSetAov, 
cos* eVtot vopL^ovow ovSev yap ovtojs Tipuov* 
AlyvTTTLOLs d>s 6 NctAos* aAAa 77tatVetv So/cet /cat 

1 to added by Wyttenbach. 

* riyov^voi Markland : r/yovfidvovs* 

3 rifjLtov Reiske : ti/lit). 

a Plutarch touches briefly on this subject in Moralia, 
642 c. 

U 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 352-353 

Cut not the sere from the green when you honour the gods 

with full feasting, 
Paring with glittering steel the member that hath the five 

branches, 

he was teaching that men should be clean of such 
things when they keep high festival, and they should 
not amid the actual ceremonies engage in clearing 
away and removing any sort of surplus matter. But 
the flax springs from the earth which is immortal ; it 
yields edible seeds, and supplies a plain and cleanly 
clothing, which does not oppress by the weight 
required for warmth. It is suitable for every season 
and, as they say, is least apt to breed lice ; but this 
topic is treated elsewhere. 

5. The priests feel such repugnance for things that 
are of a superfluous nature that they not only eschew 
most legumes, as well as mutton and pork, 6 which 
leave a large residuum, but they also use no salt c with 
their food during their periods of holy living. For 
this they have various other reasons, but in particular 
the fact that salt, by sharpening the appetite, makes 
them more inclined to drinking and eating. To 
consider salt impure, because, as Aristagoras has said, 
when it is crystallizing many minute creatures are 
caught in it and die there, is certainly silly. 

It is said also that they water the Apis from a 
well of his own, and keep him away from the Nile 
altogether, not that they think the water unclean 
because of the crocodile, as some believe ; for there 
is nothing which the Egyptians hold in such honour 
as the Nile. But the drinking of the Nile water is 

h Cf. Herodotus, ii. 37, and Moralia, 286 e. 
e Cf. infra* 363 e ; Moralia* 684 r, 729 a ; and Arrian, 
Anabasis* iii. 4. 4. 

15 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(353) /xaAtOTa TroAvtrapKiav iroielv to NetAcpov vScop 

TTlv6\LeVOV '. OV fiovAoVTCU §€ TOP *AtTW OVTCOS €)(€IV 

oi)S y iavrovs, dAA' evaraXrj /cat Kovcfra tolls 

IpVXCUS 7T€pLK€iadai TO. OCOfJLOLTa /Cat fJLTj 7TL€^€LV 

fir]8e KCLTaQALfSeLV loyyovTi too OvrjTco /cat ftapvvovTt, 
to Oelov. 

6. Olvov 8' ol fJiev iv 'HAt'ou 7rdAet OepairevovTes 
tov 6eov ovk €iar<f>€pova,i to irapdirav et? to iepov, 
B cog ov TrpoorrJKov rjfjLepag 1 iriveiv tov Kvpiov /cat 
fiacnAecos etfyopcovTos' ot 8' aAAot 2 xpcovTai jxev 
dAiyco Se. TroAAas" S aoivovs dyvetag eftovoiv, iv 
at? (f>iAooo(j>ovvT€S /cat fxavddvovTeg /cat 8i8doKovT€$ 
tol 0eta StareAouaty. ol Se jSaotAets- /cat fJLZTprjTov 
hrwov e/c tcov Upcov ypapLfxaTtov, cog 'E/carato? 
lvTopr)K€v y Upelg ovtcs' rjp^avTO Se iriveiv diro 
x FafJLjJbrjTLX ov > TTpoTepov 8' ovk eirwov olvov ovtV 
eo7T€vSov cog <f)iAiov Oeotg , dAA' cog at/xa tcov tto- 

AefJL-qordvTOJV 7TOT€ Tols OeoiS, i£ COV OLOVTOLL 7T€GOV- 

tcdv /cat Tjj yfj ovfjLfjLiyevTOjv dyareAovg yeviadai' 
C Std /cat to fjLedvetv €Kcf>povag 7rotetv 3 /cat Trapa- 
irArjyag, aVe Sr) tcov irpoyovcov tov aifiaTog e/xm- 
TrAafievovg . rat/ra tte^ o& Ei>So£os > ei/ T77 SevTepq 
Tfjg* YleptoSov Aiyeodai cf>rjaiv ovTcog vtto tcov 
tepetov. 

1 17/xepas] tepea? Moser ; v-rrqpeTas Michael, but cf. Diogenes 
Laertius, viii. 19 olvov Se /x€0* r^iepav firj yevcadai. 

2 aAAot] aAAore E. Capps. 

3 iroielv Markland: ttolzi. 

4 Trjs Pantazides: rrjs. 

° Cf. Aelian, De Natura Animalium, xi. 10. 
6 C/. Iamblichus, Life of Pythagoras, 97 and 98, who 
says that the Pythagoreans would have nothing to do with 

16 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 353 

reputed to be fattening and to cause obesity. a They 
do not want Apis to be in this condition, nor them- 
selves either ; but rather they desire that their bodies, 
the encasement of their souls, shall be well adjusted 
and light, and shall not oppress and straiten the divine 
element by the predominance and preponderance of 
the mortal. 

6. As for wine, those who serve the god in Helio- 
polis bring none at all into the shrine, since they feel 
that it is not seemly to drink in the day-time while 
their Lord and King is looking upon them. 5 The 
others use wine, but in great moderation. They 
have many periods of holy living when wine is pro- 
hibited, and in these they spend their time exclusively 
in studying, learning, and teaching religious matters. 
Their kings also were wont to drink a limited quantity c 
prescribed by the sacred writings, as Hecataeus d has 
recorded ; and the kings are priests. The beginning 
of their drinking dates from the reign of Psam- 
metichus ; before that they did not drink wine nor 
use it in libation as something dear to the gods, 
thinking it to be the blood of those who had once 
battled against the gods, and from whom, when they 
had fallen and had become commingled with the earth, 
they believed vines to have sprung. This is the reason 
why drunkenness drives men out of their senses and 
crazes them, inasmuch as they are then filled with the 
blood of their forbears. These tales Eudoxus says in 
the second book of his World Travels are thus related 
by the priests. 

wine in the day-time. See also the critical note on the 
opposite page. 

c Cf. Diodorus, i. 70. 11. 

d Diets, Fragmente der Vorsokratikcr, ii. p. 153, Heca- 
taeus no. B 11. 

17 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(353) 7. 'IxOvcov 8e OaXarrlcov rravres p,ev ov rrdvTayv 
dXX evlojv airexovraiy Kaddrrep '0(;vpvyxiTai tojv 
an* dyKiGrpov oefiopievoi yap tov 6£vpvyxov 
lyjSvv SeStaai fiij ttot€ to dyKtoTpov ov Kadapov 
iorw 6£vpvyxov TrepnreoovTOs olvtco. HvrjviTai 
Se <f)dypov hoKel yap eiriovTi ra> NeiXcp crvv- 
D em^>aivea6aL y Kal ttjv av£rjoiv dofievois (frpd^eiv 
avTayyeXos opcbpievos., ol 8* iepels drrexovr at 
rrdvTOJv rrpcorov Se paqvos ivdrr) tcjv oXXojv 
AlyvjTTLoyv €Kaarov rrpo rr)s avXeiov dvpas otttov 
lX^vv KareoQLovTos, ol iepels ov yevovrai fiev 
KaraKaiovoi Se irpo tojv dvpcov tovs Ix^vs Svo 
Xoyovs k'xovres, £>v tov p,ev iepov Kal rrepiTTov 
avOts dvaXrjifjo p,ai, ovvdSovTa tols irepl *Ooipihos 
Kal Tv<J>6jvos 6olu>s (j>iXooo(f>ovpL€vois* 6 8 ep.<f>avr)s 
Kal irpox^pos ovk avayKolov ouS' drrepiepyov 1 
oipov a7TO(f>aiva)V 2 tov 1x6 vv, c O prq pep piapTvpel jxrjTe 
^cua/ax? tov? dfSpofiiovs psr\Te tovs \QaKv\oLovs 
E dvdpojTrovs vqoiojTas Ixdvat ;\;/3a>/ieVous' ttolovvtl 
[ijyre tovs 'OSucraeco? eTaipovs ev rrXcp togovtoj 
Kal iv OaXaTTrj irplv els eoxaTrjv eXOelv drroptav, 
oXa)s Se Kal ttjv ddXaTTav e/c ttvovs* rjyovvTat, Kal 

1 ouh* airepUpyov Bentley : ouSe nepUpyov. 
8 aTTO<f>aiva)v Baxter : drro^cuWiv. 3 ttvovs F.C.B. : rrvpos. 

° Cf. Herodotus, ii. 37. 

b Cf. Strabo, xvii. 1. 40 (p. 812) ; Aelian, Be Natura 
Animalium, x. 46 ; Clement of Alexandria, Protrept icus, 
ii. 39. 5 (p. 34 Potter) ; also 358 b and 380 b, infra. 

c Cf. Aelian, Be Natura Animalium, x. 19. 

d Cf. Moralia, 729 a. 

• Plutarch does not explain this elsewhere (cf. 363 e, 
infra), but the reason may be that given by Clement of 
Alexandria, Stromateis, vii. 6. 34. 1 (p. 850 Potter), that 
fish do not breathe the same air as other living creatures. 

18 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, S5S 

7. As for sea-fish, all Egyptians do not abstain 
from all of them, a but from some kinds only ; as, for 
example, the inhabitants of Oxyrhynchus abstain 
from those that are caught with a hook h ; for, 
inasmuch as they revere the fish called oxyrhynchus 
(the pike), they are afraid that the hook may be 
unclean, since an oxyrhynchus may have been caught 
with it. The people of Syene abstain from the 
phagrus c (the sea-bream) ; for this fish is reputed to 
appear with the oncoming of the Nile, and to be a self- 
sent messenger, which, when it is seen, declares to a 
glad people the rise of the river. The priests, how- 
ever, abstain from all fish ; and on the ninth day of 
the first month, when every one of the other Egyptians 
eats a broiled fish in front of the outer door of his 
house, the priests do not even taste the fish, but burn 
them up in front of their doors . d For this practice 
they have two reasons, one of which is religious and 
curious, and I shall discuss it at another time,* since 
it harmonizes with the sacred studies touching Osiris 
and Typhon ; the other is obvious and commonplace, 
in that it declares that fish is an unnecessary and 
superfluous food, and confirms the words of Homer, 
who, in his poetry, represents neither the Phaeacians, 
who lived amid a refined luxury, nor the Ithacans, 
who dwelt on an island, as making any use of fish, nor 
did even the companions of Odysseus, while on such 
a long voyage and in the midst of the sea, until they 
had come to the extremity of want/ In fine, these 
people hold the sea to be derived from purulent 

' Homer, Od. iv. 369 and xii. 332. Cf. also Moralia, 
730 c, d. The facts are as stated, but the deduction that 
fishing was despised in Homeric times is not warranted. 

19 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

TTapwpiGixevqv ovoe fiepos ovoe (TTot^etov dAA' 

dXXotOV 1 7T€plTTC0/Aa §L€(f)9op6s Kal VOOOjSeS. 

8. OuSe^ yap dXoyov ovSe jjlvOcoScs ov8* vtto 
heLULoaLpLOvias , worrep evLOL vojjllc^ovglv , iyKarearoi- 
X^lovto rats 2 lepovpyiais, dXXd r<x /xev tjOlkols 
exovra Kal xP €LC *>0€ls alrias, ra 8* ovk a/xotpa 
kojjo/j6t7]tos loropiKrjs rj <f)W(,Kfjs iariv, olov to 

F 7T€pl KpOfipLVOV. TO yap ifX7T€0€lV eLS ToV TTOTapLOl' 

Kal oLTToXeadaL tov rrjs "Igloos rpo^tfiov Alktvv 

7TOV Z KpOjJLfAVCDV €77tSpaTTO/X6VO^ CO^CtTa^ aiTldcLVOV 

01 8' lepels 6\<j)oaiovvTai Kal SvoxepaivovaL Kal 

TO KpOfJLflVOV TTapa<j>vXaTTO VT€S, OTL TTJS GeXrjV7]S 
(f)9lVOVG7]S pLOVOV €VTpO(/)€lV TOVTO Kal TcfhjXeVOA 
7T€(f>VK€V. €GTC Se 7Tp6o<f)OpOV OV0* dyV€VOVGCV OvO* 
€OpTa£,OVGl, T0ls peV OTL SllfjijV, TOLS 8' OTL OaKpV€LV 
7TOL€L TOVS 7TpOG(f)epOpieVOVS . 

< OpLoia)s he Kal ttjv vv dviepov £toov rjyovvTaL* 
cos jxdXLGTa ydp d^ueaflcu hoKel tt}s oeXrjvrjs 
(f>dLvovorjs, Kal tcov to ydXa ttlvovtcov e^avOel tol 
354 crcopuaTa Xeirpav Kal ipcopLKas TpaxvTrjTas. tov he 
Xoyov, ov 6vovt€s aVa^ 4 vv ev 7TavaeXrjvcp Kal 
€o6lovt€s* eTTLXeyovGLV, cos 6 Tv^cov vv 8lwku>v 
Trpos ttjv 7TavoeXr)vov evpe ttjv ^vXlvrjv aopov, ev 
fj to aoofia tov 'Oai/oiSos €K€lto, Kal hLeppupev, 

1 dAA* dAAotov] dAA* olov Bases, but see 729 b where aXXorpiov 
stands in the parallel passage. 

2 rals added by Wyttcnbach. 

3 ttouF.C.B.: ov.^ 

4 a77a|] a7ra| rov erovs Squire from Ael. II. A. x. 16. 

5 Kal iadlovT€S Bentley : KartodiovTts. 
20 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 353-354 

matter, and to lie outside the confines of the world 
and not to be a part of it or an element, but a corrupt 
and pestilential residuum of a foreign nature.* 

8. Nothing that is irrational or fabulous or prompted 
by superstition, as some believe, has ever been given 
a place in their rites, but in them are some things that 
have moral and practical values, and others that are 
not without their share in the refinements of history 
or natural science, as, for example, that which has 
to do with the onion. For the tale that Dictys, the 
nurseling of Isis, in reaching for a clump of onions, 
fell into the river and was drowned is extremely in- 
credible. But the priests keep themselves clear of 
the onion b and detest it and are careful to avoid it, 
because it is the only plant that naturally thrives and 
flourishes in the waning of the moon. It is suitable 
for neither fasting nor festival, because in the one 
case it causes thirst and in the other tears for those 
who partake of it. 

In like manner they hold the pig to be an unclean 
animal, because it is reputed to be most inclined 
to mate in the waning of the moon, and because the 
bodies of those who drink its milk break out with 
leprosy and scabrous itching. d The story which they 
relate at their only sacrifice and eating of a pig at the 
time of the full moon, how Typhon, while he was 
pursuing a boar by the light of the full moon, found 
the wooden coffin in which lay the body of Osiris, 
which he rent to pieces and scattered,* they do not 

° Cf. Moralia, 729 b. 

b Cf. Aulus Gellius, xx. 8. 

• Cf. Herodotus, ii. 47. 

d Cf. Moralia, 670 p ; Aelian, Be Natura Animalium, 
x. 16 ; Tacitus, Histories, v. 4. 

• Cf. 358 a, infra. 

21 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(354) ov Trdvres airohiyovrai, rrapaKovcrpidriov 1 coarrep 
aXXa 7roXXd vop.llpvres . 

'AAAd rpv(f>rjv re /cat TroXvreXecav /cat rjSvTrddeiav 
ovrco rrpofidXXeodai rovs naXaiovs Xeyovoiv, ware 
/cat arrfXriv etfxxaav 2 Iv Qrjfiais ev rep lepoo KeloOai 
Kardpas eyyeypapLfieuag exovaav Kara Meivtos rod 

B jSaatAeoj?, os rrpcoros AlyvTrrtovg rrjs dnXovrov 
/cat dxpy)pidrov /c/zt Xtrrjg drrrjXXa^e StatV^s 1 . 
Xeyerai Se /cat Te^'a/crt? 6 BoKxopecos narrjp 
arparevcov err* "Apafias, rr\s aTroaKevrjs /?pa- 
Svvovcrrjg, rjSeoos rap Ttpoarvypvri oirlco ^p^aa- 
IJLevos, elra K0ipL7)9els fiaOvv vrtvov iirl art^dSos, 
dair da aaQai rrjv evreXetav €K 8e rovrov Karapd- 
aaaOat ra> MetVt, 3 /cat rcov lepeoov erraiveaavroov 
arrjXirevaaL rrjv Kardpav. 

9. Ot 8e fiacriXeis aTTeheiKvvvro p,ev e/c rcov 
lepeoov 77 rcov xta^t/zaw, rod fiev St dvhpeiav rod 
8e Sid oo<f)iav yevovs d£ta>/za /cat rijjurjv k'xovrog. 
6 8' €/c jjLaxLfJLOJV aTToSeSeiypLevos evOvs eyiyvero rcov 

C lepeoov /cat puerelxe ttJ? <f>iXooo(j)ias, eniKeKpv\x- 
fxevrjg rd 7ToXXd [avOols /cat Aoyot? dpLv8pd? e/x- 
<^da€t9 T7J9 dX-qOeias /cat Sia^daet? k'xovoiv, tooirep 
dpLeXet Kal TrapaSrjXovcriv avrol TTpo rcov lepcov ras 

1 TrapaKoucfiaTiov Xylander : napaKovafxaToju. 

2 €<f>aaav] loTr\aav Sieveking, omitting Ktiodai. 

3 Maw Baxter : Memo;* 

Usually known as Menes. The name is variously 
written by Greek authors as Min, Minaeus, Meneus, Menas, 
According to tradition he was the first king of Egypt. His 
reign is put circa 3500 or 3400 b.c. Cf. Herodotus, ii. 4. 
In Diodorus, i. 45, is found this same story. 

b Tefnakhte (also spelled Tnephachthos or Tnephachtho 
by Greek writers), after much fighting, made himself king 
of Lower Egypt circa 725 B.C. 
22 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 354 

all accept, believing it to be a misrepresentation, even 
as many other things are. 

Moreover, they relate that the ancient Egyptians 
put from them luxury, lavishness, and self-indulgence, 
to such a degree that they used to say that there was 
a pillar standing in the temple at Thebes which had 
inscribed upon it curses against Meinis, a their king, 
who was the first to lead the Egyptians to quit their 
frugal, thrifty, and simple manner of living. It is 
said also that Technactis, & the father of Bocchoris, c 
when he was leading his army against the Arabians, 
because his baggage was slow in arriving, found 
pleasure in eating such common food as was available, 
and afterwards slept soundly on a bedding of straw, 
and thus became fond of frugal living ; as the result, 
he invoked a curse on Meinis, and, with the approval 
of the priests, had a pillar set up with the curse 
inscribed upon it. 

9- The kings were appointed from the priests or 
from the military class, since the military class had 
eminence and honour because of valour, and the 
priests because of wisdom. But he who was appointed 
from the military class was at once made one of the 
priests and a participant in their philosophy, which, 
for the most part, is veiled in myths and in words 
containing dim reflexions and adumbrations of the 
truth, as they themselves intimate beyond question 
by appropriately placing sphinxes d before their 

■ Bekneranef, king of Egypt circa 718-712 b.c, was, 
according to Greek tradition, a wise and just ruler. An 
apocryphal story about him may be found in Aelian, De 
Natura Animalium, xii. 3. 

d Cf. Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis, v. 5. 31, chap. 5 
(p. 664 Potter). 

23 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(354) o<f>cyyas eTrtecKajs Urravrss, oj$ atVty/xarojS^ ao(f)iav 
rrjs deoXoyias avrtov ^oyq?. to 8' iv Udet rfjs 
*A0r)vas, fjv 1 /cat r \ow vojjllCovoiv, e'So? €7nypa<f)i)v 
€?X € ToiavTrjv " iya) elpu nrav to yeyovos /cat 6V 
Kal iaofxevov Kal top ifiov TrerrXov ovoeis ttoj 

OvTjTOS a7T€KaAvifj€V ." 

"Etc Se tGjv ttoXAcov vofXi^ovTOJv toiov Trap' 
AlyvTTTiois ovo/na >tov Atos* etvav tov 'Ajjlovv (o 
7rapdyovT€s rjpbets "AjJLpiOJva Xeyopuev), Mayeflco? /xer 
D o Se/Jewur^s 2 to KeKpvpfjievov oterat /cat rrjv 
Kpviptv V7to TavTrjs 8rjXova8ai Trjg cfrojvrjs' 'E/ca- 
ratos- 8' 6 9 A/38r)pLTr}s (f>r)vl tovtoj Kal irpos aAA-^- 
Xoug tco pr\\LaTi xprjcrQat tovs AlyvTTTcov? , orav 
Tivd TrpocrKaXcjvTai' 7TpooKXr]TtKr)v ydp etVat tt)v 

<f>OJVrjV. StO TOV TTpOJTOV 0€OV , OV* Tip 7TaVTt TOV 

aiJTOV VOfXL^OVOLV, 0)9 d(f>avfj Kal K€KpVfJLfJL€VOV OVTa 

TTpoaKaXovfxevoL Kal wapaKaXovvTCS ifjL<f>avrj ye- 
v4cr6ai Kal SrjXov avTois, 'Ajjlovv Xdyovaw rj fiev 
ovv evXafieta Trjg ire pi tol Beta cro<f)ias AlyvTTTiojv 

TOOaVTT) 7\V. 

10. M.apTVpovGt Se /cat tojv 'IZXXrjvajv oi ao<f>oj- 

E rarot, SoAojv QaXr)s nAdVa/i/ EuSo^os' HvOayopas , 

ojs 8' cviol <f>aoi ) Kal AvKovpyos , els AtyvrrTov 

d(f)iKoii£voL Kal crvyyevojjLevoi rot? lepevaw. Eu- 

8o£oV fl€V OVV yLoVOV<f)€0)S <j>aUL M€fJL(f>LTOV Si- 

aicovaai, ZdAa>i>a §€ HoyxiTOS HatTov, YlvOayopav 

8' 0lvOV<f>€O)S C HAt07ToAtTOl/. [XaXiGTa 8* OVTOS y 

p <1)S eot/ce, OavpLaadelg Kal davp,daa$ tovs dvhpas 

1 tjv Aldine ed. : o yv. 

2 3l€p€vvvTr)s~\ often written acjScvv/tT^?. 

3 ov added by Bentley. 

24 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 354, 

shrines to indicate that their religious teaching has in 
it an enigmatical sort of wisdom. In Sais the statue 
of Athena, whom they believe to be Isis, bore the 
inscription : " I am all that has been, and is, and shall 
be, and my robe no mortal has yet uncovered." 

Moreover, most people believe that Amoun is the 
name given to Zeus in the land of the Egyptians, 3 a 
name which we, with a slight alteration, pronounce 
Ammon. But Manetho of Sebennytus thinks that 
the meaning " concealed " or " concealment " lies in 
this word. Hecataeus b of Abdera, however, says 
that the Egyptians use this expression one to another 
whenever they call to anyone, for the word is a form 
of address. When they, therefore, address the 
supreme god, whom they believe to be the same as 
the Universe, as if he were invisible and concealed, 
and implore him to make himself visible and manifest 
to them, they use the word " Amoun " ; so great, then, 
was the circumspection of the Egyptians in their 
wisdom touching all that had to do with the gods. 

10. Witness to this also are the wisest of the 
Greeks : Solon, Thales, Plato, Eudoxus, Pythagoras, 
who came to Egypt and consorted with the priests c ; 
and in this number some would include Lycurgus 
also. Eudoxus, they say, received instruction from 
Chonuphis of Memphis, Solon from Sonchis of Sal's, 
and Pythagoras from Oenuphis of Heliopolis. Pyth- 
agoras, as it seems, was greatly admired, and he also 
greatly admired the Egyptian priests, and, copying 

a Cf. Herodotus, ii. 42. 

6 Cf. Diets, Fragments der Vorsokraliker, Hecataeus (60), 
No. B, 8. 

c Cf. Diodorus, i. 96 and 98 ; Clement of Alexandria, 
Stromateis, i. 69. I, chap. 15 (p. 356 Potter); Aloralia, 
578 f, and Life of Solon, chap. xxvi. (92 e). 

25 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

dVe/xt/ZTycraTO to cru/x/JoAt/coV avrcov /cat /Auarryptoj- 
0V9, dvapeltjas alviypiacn ra Soy/xara* rtov yap 
KaAovfjiEvoov iepoyXv(f>tKa>v ypap,\LaTix>v ov8ev amo- 
AetWt Ta 77oAAa tQ>v UvdayoptKcov TrapayyeXfjidrojv , 

OLOV €<JTl TO fJLTj €.OUl€lV €7Tl OLCppOV fJLTjO €7TL 

XoiviKOS KaOfjcrOou " " p,r}0€ <f>oiVLKa cf)VTOTOfJL€LV ' n 
" fjLJjoe TTvp /xa^atpa 2 oKaXeveiv iv oiklcl." 

Ao/coj §' eycoye /cat to ttjv fiovd8a tovs dvSpas 
ovofid^eiv 'AttoWojvol /cat ttjv SuaSa 3 "ApTe/xtv, 
AOrjvdv 8e ttjv e/?So/zdSa, rioactSawa 8e tov Trpto- 

TOV KvfioV, ZoiK€V<ll TOLS €7Tt TO)V UpO)V l8pVfl€VOLS 

/cat y\v<f>ojA€vois* vrj Ata /cat ypacfrofxevoLs . tov yap 

/?aatAea /cat Kvpiov "Qoipiv 6(f)daX{ia> /cat aKrjirTpcp 

355 ypd(j>ovGLV eviot 8e /cat rouVo/xa SiepfjLrjvevovai 

TToXv6<f>9aX[Aov , a>s tou uev os to 7ToAu tou §' tpt 

TOV 6(f)9aX/Ji6v AlyVTTTLCL yXa)TT7) (frpd^OVTOS 5 TOV 

8* ovpaiw 609 dy^paw 8t dtStoT^ra /capSta, 8va>i>* 
ea^dpas vttok€1[jl€V7]s. iv 8e QrjfSaLS €ikov€s rjaav 
dvaKetpevac St/caaTaV dxetpec, ^ Se tov dp^tSt/ca- 
cttou KaTafJLVovoa toZs opyxacrtv, cis 1 d8ojpov dfia ttjv 
8iKaLoovvr}v /cat dvcVreu/CTov ouaav. 

Tot? §€ /xaxt/xot? Kavdapos rjv yXvcfrr) cr^paytSo? • 

1 <f>VTOTOfJi€LV F.C.B. : <f)VT€V€lV. 

2 fiaxalpa Bernardakis : fiaxaLprj. 

3 Tj)y 8uaSa Squire : hvdba ttjv. 
4 yXv<j>oficvois F.C.B. : Spcofxevois. 

5 <f>pd{,ovTos Baxter : <t>pd£,ovT€s. 
6 ^ydiv F.C.B. : Ovfiov. 

a For these precepts cf. Moralia, 12 e-f, and Life of Numa, 
chap. xiv. (69 c) ; Athenaeus, x. 77 (452 d) ; Iamblichus, 
Protrepticus, chap. xxi. (pp. 131-160) ; Diogenes Laertius, 
viii. 17-18. 

b Cf. 365 b, infra, and Xenophon, Anabasis, ii. 3. 16. „ 

26 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 354^355 

their symbolism and occult teachings, incorporated 
his doctrines in enigmas. As a matter of fact most 
of the Pythagorean precepts ° do not at all fall short 
of the writings that are called hieroglyphs ; such, for 
example, as these : " Do not eat upon a stool " ; 
" Do not sit upon a peck measure " ; " Do not lop 
off the shoots of a palm-tree b " ; " Do not poke a fire 
with a sword within the house." 

For my part, I think also that their naming unity 
Apollo, duality Artemis, the hebdomad Athena, and 
the first cube Poseidon, bears a resemblance to the 
statues and even to the sculptures and paintings with 
which their shrines are embellished. For their King 
and Lord Osiris they portray by means of an eye 
and a sceptre d ; there are even some who explain 
the meaning of the name as " many-eyed " e on 
the theory that os in the Egyptian language means 
H many " and iri " eye " ; and the heavens, since 
they are ageless because of their eternity, they por- 
tray by a heart with a censer beneath/ In Thebes 
there were set up statues of judges without hands, 
and the statue of the chief justice had its eyes closed, 
to indicate that justice is not influenced by gifts or by 
intercession.^ 

The military class had their seals engraved with 
the form of a beetle h ; for there is no such thing as a 

c C/., for example, 381 f and 393 u, infra, and Iamblichus, 
Comment, in Nichomachi Arithmetical 14. 

d Occasionally found on the monuments ,• cf. 371 E t 
infra. 

e Cf. Diodorus, i. 11. 

f Cf. Horapollo, Hieroglyphics, i. 22. 

9 Cf. Diodorus, i. 48. 6. 

h The Egyptian scarab, or sacred beetle. Cf. Pliny, 
Nat. Hist. xxx. 13 (30). 

27 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(355) ov yap earn Kavdapog 6r\\vs> aAAa irdvrzs dpoeves. 
tLktovoi $€ tov yovov els afyaipoTrobqaw } ov 
Tpotfifjs paXAov vArjv rj yeveaeajg x ( ^? av ^apa- 

aK€vd^OVT€S . 

B 11. "Qrav ovv a p,vdoXoyovaiv Klyvirrioi nept 
tlov Oecov aKovarjs, irXdvas Kal otapeXiopovs i<al 
noXXa rotavra rraQr\paTa 2 Set tlov 7Tpoeipt]pivcov 
pvrjpLovevew Kal prjSev o'UcrOai tovtlov Xeyecrdat 
ytyovos ovtoj Kal TTeirpaypevov. ov ydp top kvvol 
Kvpitos 'Ep/X7?v Xeyovoiv, aAAa rov ^toov to <f>vXa- 
ktlkov Kai to dypVTTVov Kal to tf>iX6oo<f>ov , yvtoo€L 
Kal ayvoia to <f>LXov Kal to ixOpov opi^ovTos, fj 
<f>rjoiv 6 HXaTO)v, tco XoyicoTaTCp tcov Oecov ovv- 
otKZiovaiv ? ov8e top tjXiov Ik Xcotov vopt^ovot 

C fip£<j>os dvloxew veoytXov, dAA' ovtcos avaroX^v 
rjXtov ypd(f>ovoL, ttjv e£ vyptov rjXlov yiyvo\xevr\v 
dvai/jiv alviTTOfJLevot. Kal ydp tov copuoTaTov Ylep- 
acov /SacnAea Kal cfrofiepcoTaTov ^Q,x ov drroKTeivavTa 
ttoXXovs, T€*Xo$ Se Kal tov r Amv d7Too<f)d£ avTa Kal 
KaTaoeiirvrjaavTa ttera tcov cf)iXcov, eKaXtGav " pd- 
Xatpav," Kal KaXovoi ^XP l v ^ v ovtcos £v tco /cara- 
Adya> tcov paaiXecov, ov Kvplcos Stjttov ttjv ovcrlav 

1 ciV <j<f>cupo7roi7)(jiv F.C.B. : cuj a<f>aipo7TOiovaiv, (t. y. d^ieVres" 
els ovOov ov a<f>aiporroLOvaLV Pohlenz.) 

2 TraOijixara] /xaflrj/zara most MSS. 

3 ovvot,K€iovow Baxter : kvvikziovoiv. 

• Cf 381 a, infra. The idea that all beetles are male 
was very common in antiquity ; c/., for example, Aelian, 
De Natura Animalium, x. 15 ; Porphyry, De Abstinent ia, 
iv. 9. 

b They are crKaTo<f>dyot. 

c Cf. Plato's Republic, 375 e, and the note in Adam's 
edition (Cambridge, 1902). 

d Cf. 368 f and 400 a, infra. 

28 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 355 

female beetle, but all beetles are male. They eject 
their sperm into a round mass which they construct, 
since they are no less occupied in arranging for a 
supply of food b than in preparing a place to rear their 
young. 

11. Therefore, Clea, whenever you hear the tradi- 
tional tales which the Egyptians tell about the gods, 
their wanderings, dismemberments, and many experi- 
ences of this sort, you must remember what has been 
already said, and you must not think that any of 
these tales actually happened in the manner in which 
they are related. The facts are that they do not call 
the dog by the name Hermes as his proper name, 
but they bring into association with the most astute 
of their gods that animal's watchfulness and wake- 
fulness and wisdom, since he distinguishes between 
what is friendly and what is hostile by his knowledge 
of the one and his ignorance of the other, as Plato c 
remarks. Nor, again, do they believe that the sun 
rises as a new-born babe from the lotus, but they 
portray the rising of the sun in this manner to indi- 
cate allegorically the enkindling of the sun from the 
waters.** So also Ochus, the most cruel and terrible 
of the Persian kings, who put many to death and 
finally slaughtered the Apis e and ate him for dinner 
in the company of his friends, the Egyptians called 
the " Sword " ; and they call him by that name even 
to this day in their list of kings/ But manifestly they 

e The sacred bull. 

' Both Cambyses and Ochus are said to have killed the 
sacred bull Apis ; cf 368 f, infra, and Herodotus, iii. 29, 
for Cambyses ; for Ochus, 363 c, infra, and Aelian, Varia 
Historia, iv. 8. In Be Natura Animalium, x. 28, Aelian 
says that both Cambyses and Ochus were guilty of this 
offence. 

29 



PLUTARCH'S M0RAL1A 

(355) avrov u^fialvovres, dXXd rov rporrov rrjv aKXrjpo- 
rryra /cat kclklclv opydvto <f)ovu<cb rrapeiKdt.ovres . 
ovroj S77 rd 7T€pl Oecov a/cou'cracra /cat Sexofievr] 
rrapd rd>v i^rjyovjxevajv rov fivdov oglqjs /cat <£tAo- 
D o6cf)a>$, /cat Spcoaa fxev del /cat Sta(f>vXdrrovcra rwv 
lepdjv rd vevojjuarfJLeva, rov 8' dXrjdrj 86£av €X €CV 
rrepl OecJbv fjarjSev olojievrj pL&XXov avrols [Jt/rjre 
Ovuetv fjLrjre TToirjaew 1 Kexaptofjievov, ovSev aV 2 
eXarrov d7TO(f)evyouo 3 kolkov dOeorrjros SetatSat- 
\xovlav. 

12. Ae^eTat 4 S' 6 puvOos ovros ev fipaxvrdrois ws 
eveori fjidXicrra, ra>v dxp^crrojv crcfroSpa /cat neper - 
rcov d(f)oupe6evrtov. 

Tr)s 'Pea? 0a<rt Kpvtfia rep Kpovto crvyyevojjLevrjs 
alodoyievov eirapdoacrOai rov "HAiov avrfj pajre {ltjvi 
\xr\r evcavrco reKelv epcovra 8e rov ^pjxrjv rrjs 
6eov ovveXOetv, elra mai^avra 7rerrla b irpos rrjv 
aeXijvrjv /cat d<f>eX6vra rcov cj>corcov eVaarou rd 
e^SofirjKocyrov e/c irdvrcov y]jx4pas nevre uvveXeiv 6 
E /cat rats e^rjKovra /cat rpiaKoaiais enayayetv , 7 a? 
vvv eVayo/xeVas* Atyt/7rrtot kolXovoi /cat rcov decov 
yevedXiovs dyovoi. rfj jxev Trpcorr] rov "Qoipiv 

1 TTOLrjativ Diibner : 7Toirj<j€tv avroTs. 

2 civ added by F.C.B. 

8 a7ro<j>€vyoio F.C.B. : a7ro<f>€v£oio. 

4 Xe^erat F.C.B. : Xeycrai (XcyeaQco Paton ; but the copyist 
evidently exchanged a letter with a7ro<£euyoto). 

5 7TCTTia Hatzidakis : tt€ttml. 

6 oweXclv Xylan der : oweXSelv. 

7 cTTayayelv Reiske : eVayeiv. 

Cf. Moralia, 164 f., 165 c, 378 a, 379 e. 
b Cf. Moralia, 429 f ; Diodorus, i. 13. 4 ; Eusebius, 
Praeparatio Evang. ii. 1. 1-32. 

c Plutarch evidently does not reckon the ivrj /ecu via (the 

30 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 355 

do not mean to apply this name to his actual being ; 
they but liken the stubbornness and wickedness in 
his character to an instrument of murder. If, then, 
you listen to the stories about the gods in this way, 
accepting them from those who interpret the story 
reverently and philosophically, and if you always per- 
form and observe the established rites of worship, 
and believe that no sacrifice that you can offer, no 
deed that you may do will be more likely to find 
favour with the gods than your belief in their true 
nature, you may avoid superstition which is no less 
an evil than atheism. 

12. Here follows the story related in the briefest 
possible words with the omission of everything that 
is merely unprofitable or superfluous : 

They sa}^ that the Sun, when he became aware of 
Rhea's intercourse with Cronus, 5 invoked a curse upon 
her that she should not give birth to a child in any 
month or any year ; but Hermes, being enamoured 
of the goddess, consorted with her. Later, playing 
at draughts with the moon, he won from her the 
seventieth part of each of her periods of illumination, 6 
and from all the winnings he composed five days, and 
intercalated them as an addition to the three hundred 
and sixty days. The Egyptians even now call these 
five days intercalated d and celebrate them as the 
birthdays of the gods. They relate that on the first 

day when the old moon changed to the new) as a period of 
illumination, since the light given by the moon at that time 
is practically negligible. An intimation of this is given in 
his Life of Solon, chap. xxv. (92 c). Cf. also Plato, Cratylus, 
409 b, and the scholium on Aristophanes' Clouds, 1186. 
One seventieth of 12 lunar months of 29 days each (318 
days) is very nearly five days. 
d Cf. Herodotus, ii. 4. 

31 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

yeveoOat, Kal <f>ojvr)v avrtp reydivri avveK7T€oetv cos 
6 ndvrojv 1 Kvptos ei? </>tos irpoeioiv. eVioi Se Yla- 
pivXrjv* rcva Xeyovotv iv QrjfSais v8p€v6p,€vov* €K rov 
Upov rov Aids (f>ojvrjv aKovoai StaKeXevofJuevrjv dv- 
enrelv [xera J80779 on fieyas jSacriAeu? evepyerrjg 
"Ooipis yiyove' Kal Sid rovro dpeifsai rov "Ooipiv, 
eyxeiploavros* avrco rov Kpovov, Kal rrjv ra>v 
YlafivXcajv 2 ioprrjv avrw reXelorOat (f>aXXr)<f>opLO is eoi- 
F Kviav. rfj Se oevrepd rov 'Apovrjpiv, ov 'ArroXXcova, 
ov /cat TTpeofivrepov T £lpov eViot KaXovorr rfj rptrrj 
Se Tv<f>tbva pbTj Kaipco jjurj&e Kara ywpav, dAA' dvap- 
prj£avra 7rXrjyfj Sid rrjs rrXevpas e£aAea0ai 5, rerdprrf 
Se rrjv *\aw iv Travvypois yeveodar rfj Se TTepLTrrrj 
Ne(f)6vv, rjv Kal TeXevrrjv Kal y A(f>po8irrjv, eVioi Se 
Kal ISiKrjv dvo\x6X,ovaiv \ elvat Se rov fxkv "Ooipiv 
i£ 'HAiou Kal rov 'Apovrjpiv, e/c 8' c Ep/xou rrjv 
356 r I<7iy, €K Se rov Kpovov rov Tv(f>a>va Kal rrjv Ne- 
<f>Qvv, Sid Kal rrjv rpirrjv rdv lrrayo\iiva>v drrocfrpdSa 
vofii^ovres oi fSaoiXels ovk ixprjixdrc^ov oi)S' iOepd- 
rrevov avrovs ^XP l WKros. yr\\iaoQaC Se ra> 
Tv(f>a>VL rrjv Ne<f)0vv, ^Icriv Se /cat "Qoripiv ipwvras 
aXXrjXcov Kal rrplv rj yeveodac Kara yaorpos vtto 

1 6 ndvrcov Reiske : airavroiiv. 

2 ITa/AvA^v . . . HafJLvXicov] HapLfivXrjv , . . TLapLfivXlajv L. 
Dindorf. 

3 vhp€v6fi€vov Baxter : vBp€vop.dvrjv (or else avra> in the fourth 
line infra must be changed to avr-fj). 

4 iyx^ipiaavros Salmasius : eyx^ipyaavro^. 

5 i£aX4oQai Reiske : i( dXXeodai. 

6 T€Taprr]] rfj tctci/otij to correspond with the other four ? 

7 ynjfxaaOat Xylander : rtjiaaOau 

° What is known about Pamyles (or Paamyles or Pam- 
myles), a Priapean god of the Egyptians, may be found in 
Kock, Coin, Att. Frag. ii. p. 289. Cf. also 365 b, infra. 
32 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 355-356 

of these days Osiris was born, and at the hour of his 
birth a voice issued forth saying, " The Lord of All 
advances to the light. " But some relate that a certain 
Pamyles, while he was drawing water in Thebes, 
heard a voice issuing from the shrine of Zeus, which 
bade him proclaim with a loud voice that a mighty 
and beneficent king, Osiris, had been born ; and for 
this Cronus entrusted to him the child Osiris, which 
he brought up. It is in his honour that the festival 
of Pamylia is celebrated, a festival which resembles 
the phallic processions. On the second of these days 
Arueris was born whom they call Apollo, and some call 
him also the elder Horus. On the third day Typhon 
was born, but not in due season or manner, but with 
a blow he broke through his mother's side and leapt 
forth. On the fourth day Isis was born in the regions 
that are ever moist b ; and on the fifth Nephthys, to 
whom they give the name of Finality c and the name 
of Aphrodite, and some also the name of Victory. 
There is also a tradition that Osiris and Arueris were 
sprung from the Sun, Isis from Hermes , d and Typhon 
and Nephthys from Cronus. For this reason the kings 
considered the third of the intercalated days as in- 
auspicious, and transacted no business on that day, 
nor did they give any attention to their bodies until 
nightfall. They relate, moreover, that Nephthys 
became the wife of Typhon e ; but Isis and Osiris were 
enamoured of each other f and consorted together in 

6 The meaning is doubtful, but Isis as the goddess of 
vegetation, of the Nile, and of the sea, might very naturally 
be associated with moisture. 

c Cf 366 b and 375 b, infra. 

d Cf 352 a, supra. 

e Cf 375 b, infra. 

' Cf 373 b, infra. 

33 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(356) a kotco ovvelvai. evioi he (j>aai Kal top 'Apovrjpiv 
ovrai yeyovevai kcli KaXeZadai 7rpeofivTepov T Q.pov 
V7T y AlyvTTTiayv, 'AiroXXajva 8' v<fS 'EWtjvcov. 

13. BacnAevovra 8* "Oaipiv AlyvTrriovs fiev 
evdvs drropov filov Kal drjpuLhovs aVaAAa^at Kap- 
ttovs re hei^avra Kal vofiovs defxevov olvtols /cat 

B 6eoi>s StSa^avra 1 Tt/xaV* varepov he yfjv ndaav 
rjjjL€povp,€vov eireXQeiv iXd\iara p,ev ottXojv S07- 
Oepra, ttciOoZ he tovs ttXzigtovs Kal Xoyco ixer (hhfjs 
/cat 7Td<77]s ixovoiKrjs deXyofxevovs irpooayopLevov 
odev "EAA^crt 8o£at kiovvocp rov avrov etvac. 

Tv<f>tDVa 8' dlTOVTOS jXeV OvSeV vewTeplt^ew , Sta TO 
rrjv r \ow ev LidXa (frvXarreodai /cat irpooe^eiv ey- 
KpcLTios exovoav* eiraveXdovTi he hoXov /xT^afa- 
oOaiy avvcopiorag dvhpas ef$hop,'qKovTa /cat Suo 
ireTToiriiievov /cat avvepyov e\ovTa fiaoiXiooav e£ 
AWio7TLas Trapovaav, tjv ovofid^ovcnv \Aaar rov 

C 8' 'Ocrt'ptSos' eKfjLerpTjcrdjievov Xddpa to croj/xa /cat 
KaraorKevdaavra rrpos to p,eye9os XdpvaKa KaXr^v 
/cat KeKoo^vq^evr^v 7repLTTO)$ eioeveyKelv els to cru/x- 
ttoolov. TjoOevTCov he tt} oipei /cat davjxaodvTtov , 
vrroax^dat tov Tv<f>a>va /tera 77atStas", os aV iy- 
/cara/cAt#ets 3 etjcacjOeir]* StSoVat hcbpov clvto) ttju 
XdpvaKa. iretpajfjievayv he TrdvTOiv /ca#' eKaoTov, d>s 
ovhels evrjpixoTrev , ififidvTa rov "Ocripw /cara/cAt- 

1 SiSaf avra Markland : Sct'fcura. 

2 ^xovoav] apxovoav Markland from Diodorus, i. 17. 

3 eyHarah^idels Markland : iyKaraKXeiodzis. 

4 i£ioa>0€ir)] c^iowOfj Bernardakis, but the potential use of 
the optative with a relative is well established. 

a Cf. Diodorus, i. 13-16. 
1 Cf. Diodorus, i. 17. 1-3; 18. 5-6 ; 20. 3-4. 
34 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 356 

the darkness of the womb before their birth. Some 
say that Arueris came from this union and was called 
the elder Horus by the Egyptians, but Apollo by the 
Greeks. 

13. One of the first acts related of Osiris in his 
reign was to deliver the Egyptians from their desti- 
tute and brutish manner of living. a This he did by 
showing them the fruits of cultivation, by giving them 
laws, and by teaching them to honour the gods. 
Later he travelled over the whole earth civilizing it b 
without the slightest need of arms, but most of the 
peoples he won over to his way by the charm of his 
persuasive discourse combined with song and all 
manner of music. Hence the Greeks came to identify 
him with Dionysus. ° 

During his absence the tradition is that Typhon 
attempted nothing revolutionary because Isis, who 
was in control, was vigilant and alert ; but when he 
returned home Typhon contrived a treacherous plot 
against him and formed a group of conspirators 
seventy-two in number. He had also the co-operation 
of a queen from Ethiopia d who was there at the time 
and whose name they report as Aso. Typhon, having 
secretly measured Osiris's body and having made ready 
a beautiful chest of corresponding size artistically 
ornamented, caused it to be brought into the room 
where the festivity was in progress. The company was 
much pleased at the sight of it and admired it greatly, 
whereupon Typhon jestingly promised to present it 
to the man who should find the chest to be exactly his 
length when he lay down in it. They all tried it in 
turn, but no one fitted it ; then Osiris got into it and 

e Cf. 362 b, 364 d-f, infra, and Herodotus, ii. 42 and 14 k 
d Cf 366 c, infra. 

35 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(356) Orjvai. tovs Se avvovras 1 emS/Da/xcWas" iirippd^ai* 
to 7T(x)fia Kal ra /zev yop,<f>ois KaraXafiovTas e^coOev 
tG>v Se Oepfjbov /LtoAtjSSou 3 fcara^ca/xcVou? 4 em rov 
7TorajJL6v itjeveyKelv /cat fiedeivcu Sia rod TaviTiKov 6 

OTOfJLCLTOS Ct? T7JV ddAaTTCLV, O St<X TOVTO flLCrrjTOV 

en vvv Kal KaraTTTVorov di>o/xa£eiv 6 AlyvTrrlovs. 
ravra Se 7rpax0rjvai Xeyovoiv epSofir) em SeKa 
jjLTjvos 'Advp, iv a) rov oKopTriov 6 yjXios SUtjeiOLV, 
D oyhoov eros Kal eiKocrrov e/cetvo 7 fiaotXevovros 
'Ocri/uSo?. evioi Se j8e/?ia>KeVai (f>aolv avTov, ov 
jSejSaoxAeufceVcu yj>6vov tooovtov. 

14. II/dootoov Se raw rov 7rept Xe^/Aiy 8 olkovvtqjv 
tottov Tlavtov Kal HaTVpojv to ttolOos alodofxevajv 
Kal Xoyov £p,fiaX6vTUJV Trepl tov y^yovoTos, tols /xeV 
al<f>vt,8lovs Ttov oxXa)v rapa^as Kal TTTO-qoeis €TL 
vvv Sta tovto 7raviKas 7rpooayop€veo0ai m ttjv 8' T Iaiv 
alodofjidvrjv Kelpaodac 9 fxev ivravda tcov irXoKapbajv 
eVa Kal 7T€v0ifJLov OToXrjv dvaXafielv, ottov tjj TroXec 10 

fl<€Xpi> VVV OVOfia KoTTTO). €T€pOl Se TOVVOfAa G7]fMal- 

E veiv oiovTai OTeprjoiv to yap a7rooT€peiv " kotttciv 
Xlyovoi. 7rXava)[jL€vr)v Se TrdvTT) Kal dnopovcrav 
ovSeva rrpooeXdetv 11 arrpooavh-qTov , aAAa Kal irai- 
Saptois ovvTV)(ovoav epoordV 7repl ttjs XdpvaKos' to. 

1 owovras] avvco psoras Meziriacus. 

2 €mppd£ai Wyttenbach : €TTippi}£ai. 

3 dcpfjiov fioXipSov] 0€pp.6v fi6\ip$ov Baxter. 

4 KaTaxtapAvovs Bentley : Karax^apLevoiV. 

5 TaviTLKov Xy lander : ravairiKov. 

6 ovoftafetv] vop.i£eiv Kontos. 

7 €K€lvo Xylander : cKetvov. 

8 X4pp.iv Xylander : ^cWtv. 

9 KcipaoOai van Herwerden : KclpeoOai. 
10 tw noXet] iroXis fj Reiske. 
11 npoo€A$€lv] 7Tap€\d€iv Meziriacus, 
36 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 356 

lay down, and those who were in the plot ran to it and 
slammed down the lid, which they fastened by nails 
from the outside and also by using molten lead. Then 
they carried the chest to the river and sent it on its 
way to the sea through the Tanitic Mouth. Where- 
fore the Egyptians even to this day name this mouth 
the hateful and execrable. Such is the tradition. 
They say also that the date on which this deed was 
done was the seventeenth day of Athyr, a when the 
sun passes through Scorpion, and in the twenty-eighth 
year of the reign of Osiris ; but some say that these 
are the years of his life and not of his reign. b 

14. The first to learn of the deed and to bring to 
men's knowledge an account of what had been done 
were the Pans and Satyrs who lived in the region 
around Chemmis, c and so, even to this day, the sudden 
confusion and consternation of a crowd is called a 
panic. d Isis, when the tidings reached her, at once 
cut off one of her tresses and put on a garment of 
mourning in a place where the city still bears the 
name of Kopto. e Others think that the name means 
deprivation, for they also express " deprive " by 
means of " koptein." f But Isis wandered everywhere 
at her wits' end ; no one whom she approached did 
she fail to address, and even when she met some little 
children she asked them about the chest. As it 

° November 13. Cf. also 366 d and 367 e, infra. 

b Cf 367 f, infra. 

c Cf. Herodotus, ii. 91 and 156, and Diodorus, i. 18. 2. 

d Cf. E. Harrison, Classical Review, vol. xl. pp. 6 ff. 

e Cf. Aelian, Be Natura Animalium, x. 23. 

f The word kopto, "strike," "cut," is used in the middle 
voice in the derived meaning " mourn " (i.e. to beat one- 
self as a sign of mourning). Occasionally the active voice 
also means " cut off," and from this use Plutarch derives the 
meaning "deprive." 

37 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

$£ tvxclv 1 lojpaKora Kal cf>pdoai to otojxcl hi ov ro 
dyyziov ol <f)iAoi rov Tvcf)tovos els ttjv ddXarrav 
ecooav. eK rovrov rd Traihdpia pLavriKrjv hvvajjiiv 
^X eiv oteadat tovs Alyvirriovs , 'cat [xaXiara rat? 
tovtojv orreveaOai kXtjSoo-i rrai^ovrajv iv UpoZs Kal 
cfrdeyyojAevajv o tl aV rv^coai. 

Aicr#o/zeVrjv he rfj dheX(f)fj Ipcovra ovyycyovlvat 
F hi dyvoiav d>s eavrrj rov "Ooipiv Kal reKfjirjpiov 
Ihovoav rov [xeXiXcorivov 2 orifyavov ov £k€ivos rrapd 
rfj Necf)9v'C 3 KareXirre, to TTaihiov ^rjreZv (zKOeivai* yap 
evOvs T€Kovaav Sta (f)6fiov rov Tvfitovos)- evpedev 
he 5 ^aAc-nxus' Kal (Jboyis kvvcov irrayovroyv r-qv 
*1cfiv €Krpacf>rjvai Kal yeveadai (f)vAa«a Kal orrahov 
avrvjs "Avovfiiv 7Tpocrayop€vdevra Kal Xeyopcevov 
rovs 6eoi>s (f>povpeZv tboTrep ol kvvcs rovs dvOpojrrovs. 
15. 'Ek he rovrov rrvOeaOai rrepl rrjs XdpvaKog, 

357 COS" 7TpOS T7]V BujSAoU 6 X^pW VTTO "1"?}$ OaXdrTTjS €K- 

Kvp,av6eloav avrrjv epeiKj] rivl piaX6aK<jos 6 kXvSojv 
rrpocre/itei^ev' rj S' epeiKT) KaXXiorov epvos oXiyco 
Xpovcp Kal fieyiorrov dvahpapiovoa Trepierrrv^e Kal 
7Tepi€(f)V Kal drreKpvifjev evros davr-fjs' davpbdoas 8* 
6 fiaaiXevs rov <j>vrov to jxeyedos Kal TTepirefiobv rov 
rtepieypvra ttjv aopov ovx optojAevrjv koXttov 7 epaoyxa 

1 5c rvxdv Baxter : 8' ervxev. 

2 IBovaav rov jieXtXwTivov Xylander : Ibovcra rov jxkv Xarivov. 

8 rfj Nc<f>6vi Reiske : rr\v v4<f>6vv. 

4 €kO€ivcli Xylander : £k€ivo. 

5 Be added by Squire. 

6 BvfiXov Bentley : BvfiXov. 

7 koXttov] Kopi*ov Salmasius. 

° Of. Dio Chrysostom, Oratio xxxii. p. 364 d (660 Reiske), 
and Aelian, l)e Natura Animalium, xi. 10, ad fin. 
38 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 356-357 

happened, they had seen it, and they told her the 
mouth of the river through which the friends of 
Typhon had launched the coffin into the sea. Where- 
fore the Egyptians think that little children possess 
the power of prophecy , a and they try to divine the 
future from the portents which they find in children's 
words, especially when children are playing about in 
holy places and crying out whatever chances to come 
into their minds. 

They relate also that Isis, learning that Osiris in his 
love had consorted with her sister b through ignorance, 
in the belief that she was Isis, and seeing the proof of 
this in the garland of melilote which he had left with 
Nephthys, sought to find the child ; for the mother, 
immediately after its birth, had exposed it because of 
her fear of Typhon. And when the child had been 
found, after great toil and trouble, with the help of 
dogs which led Isis to it, it was brought up and became 
her guardian and attendant, receiving the name of 
Anubis, and it is said to protect the gods just as dogs 
protect men. c 

15. Thereafter Isis, as they relate, learned that the 
chest had been cast up by the sea near the land of 
Byblus d and that the waves had gently set it down 
in the midst of a clump of heather. The heather in a 
short time ran up into a very beautiful and massive 
stock, and enfolded and embraced the chest with its 
growth and concealed it within its trunk. The king 
of the country admired the great size of the plant, 
and cut off the portion that enfolded the chest (which 
was now hidden from sight), and used it as a pillar to 

b Nephthys ; c/. 366 b, 368 e, and 375 b, infra. 

c Of. Diodorus, i. 8T. 2. 

d Cf. Apoilodorus, Bibliotheca, ii. 1. 3. 

39 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(357) rrjs areyrjs 1 {meorrjcre. ravrd re rxvev\iarl <j>aoi 
ScufJLOPLto (f>rjjJi7]s TTvdofAevrjv rrjv *Iolv els BvfiXov 
d<f>iKeo6ai, kcli KaBloaoav em Kpr\vr]s ra7Teivr)v Kal 
hehaKpvfievrjv dXXq) jJLev pirjhevl 7TpocrhiaXeyeo6aL, 
rrjs he fiaaiXthos ras depaTraivihas doTrd^eoQai Kal 
(j>iXo<j>poveZodai rrjv re kojjltjv iraparrXeKovoav avrtov 

B Kal rep xpajrl 6avp,aorr)v evojhiav errnrveovoav d(j>* 
eavrrjs. Ihovarjs hjz rrjs paotXihos ras depaTrai- 
vihas, Ipiepov efjoreoeiv rrjs £evr}s rGiv re rpiy/bv rod 
re xp<A)ros dpb^pocTLav irveovros* ' ovtoj he. /xeraTrc/z- 
<f)6eloav Kal yevopLevrjv ovvrjOrj 7Toir]oaodai rod 7rat- 
htov rirOrjv. ovofjua he ra> p,ev fSacriXeZ MdXKavhpov 
elva'i (fraaw, avrfj 2 S' oi p,ev 'Aordprrjv* ol be Zaa>cni> 
oi he Nepbavovv, orrep dv "JLXXrjves 'Adrjvatha 
7Tpooei7Toiev. h 

16. Tpe<f>eiv he rrjv T Icru> dvrl jjlclotov rov haK- 

C rvXov els to aropa rov rraihiov hihovoav* WKrojp 
he rrepiKaieiv rd dvrjra rov owjxaros* avrrjv he 
yevo\ievr\v yeXihova rfj klovl uepnrer eadai Kal 6prj- 
veZv, d\pi ov rrjv fSaolXiaaav 7Tapa<f>vXd£aaav Kal 
eKKpayovoav, 1 ojs €?8c TrepiKaiopbevov to fipecfros, 
d(/)eXeo6ai rrjv dOavaoiav avrov, rrjv he 8edv 
<f>avepdv yevo/jievrjv alrtfoaodai rrjv Kiova rrjs 
areyrjs* v<f>eXovoav he paara irepiKo^ai rrjv epecKrjv, 
elra ravr-qv puev odovrj TrepLKaXvifiaaav Kal jxvpov 

1 tiJs orcyyjs] rfj arlyr) Madvig. 
* TTviovros] aTTOTTviovros Michael. 

3 avrfj Markland: aurrjv. 

4 'Aordprqv Basel ed. of 1 542 : dorrdpTrjv. 

5 7rpoCT6i7T(Hcv Markland : Ttpoozi-n&v. 

6 rov irachlov SiSovcav] " vel rco irathlco vel rSa.aav " 
Wyttenbach. 

40 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 357 

support the roof of his house. These facts, they say, 
Isis ascertained by the divine inspiration of Rumour, 
and came to Byblus and sat down by a spring, all 
dejection and tears ; she exchanged no word with 
anybody, save only that she welcomed the queen s 
maidservants and treated them with great amiability, 
plaiting their hair for them and imparting to their 
persons a wondrous fragrance from her own body. 
But when the queen observed her maidservants, a 
longing came upon her for the unknown woman and 
for such hairdressing and for a body fragrant with 
ambrosia. Thus it happened that Isis was sent for and 
became so intimate with the queen that the queen 
made her the nurse of her baby. They say that 
the king's name was Malcander ; the queen's name 
some say was Astarte, others Saosis, and still others 
Nemanus, which the Greeks would call Athenais. 

16. They relate that Isis nursed the child by giving 
it her finger to suck instead of her breast, and in the 
night she would burn away the mortal portions of its 
body. She herself would turn into a swallow and 
flit about the pillar with a wailing lament, until the 
queen who had been watching, when she saw her 
babe on fire, gave forth a loud cry and thus deprived 
it of immortality. Then the goddess disclosed herself 
and asked for the pillar which served to support the 
roof. She removed it with the greatest ease and cut 
away the wood of the heather which surrounded the 
chest ; then, when she had wrapped up the wood in 
a linen cloth and had poured perfume upon it, she 

° C/. the similar account of Demeter in the Homeric 
Hymn to Demeter (ii.), 98 ff. 

7 cKKpayovaav Bentley ; eyKpayovaav Stephanus : ice/cpa- 
yovoav. 

41 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(357) Karax^ctfJievrjv iyx^tpicrai toZs fiaoiXevoi, /cat vvv €Tl 
oefieodai HvfiXtovs to £vXov ev leptp Kei\ievov 
D "IacSo?. rfj Se aopcp irepnreoelv /cat KcoKvaai 
tt]\ikovtov , axjre tcov TraiSwv rov fiaaiXecos tov 
vecorepov evdavelv, tov Se rrpeo^vrepov pued^ 
eavrijs e^ovaav /cat ttjv aopov els ttXoiov evOepLevrjv 
avaxOfjvai, rod Se Oat'Spou 7TOTap,ov TTvevpia 
rpaxvrepov £k6 pexjsavTOS vno ttjv ecu, dvpaoOeloav 
ava^7]pdvai to peWpov. 

17. "Onov Se TTpcorov iprjpias eri^er, avrrjv kclO' 
iavrrjv yevofJLevrjv dvoi^at ttjv XdpvaKa, /cat ra> 
TrpoacoTTcp to Trpoacoirov eTTideloav darrdaaaOaL KOLL 
OOLKpveiV TOV Se TTOLiSiOV OLOJ7T7J TTpooeAdovTos €K 

rc7)v oTTioBev /cat KaTauavQdvovTos ala9o t uevr)v /zera- 
E OTpafyrfvai /cat Seivov vix* opyrjs ififiXeifjcu . to Se 
rraiSiov oi>K dvaax^aOat to Tapfios, dXX* diroOavelv. 
ol Se cfraatv ovx ovtojs, aAA' oS elprjTaL ttXolov 1 
eKTreoelv els ttjv OdXarTav. e^et Se Tipids Sta ttjv 
deov ov yap aSovaiv AlyvnTioi napd tol ovfjL7r6aia 
MavepcoTa, 2 tovtov etvau. Ttves Se tov p,ev iratSa 
KaXeloOai naAatcrrt^oV rj UrjXovoiov, /cat ttjv ttoXlv 
eVaW/xov air* avTOV yeveaOai KTioQeloav vtto ttjs 
6eov' top S* dSoptevov MavepcoTa 2 Trpcorov evpelv 
jjiovorLKrjv loTopovoiv. evioi Se cfraoiv 6Vo/xa piev 
ovSevos elvai, SidXeKTOv Se. ttlvovolv dv9pco7Tois 
/cat OaXid^ovai Ttpeirovoav, " atcrt/xa rot rotaura 3 
F TTapebt) '• tovto yap to) MavepcoTi 2 (ppa^ofievov dva~ 

1 ov . . . ttXoiov F.C.B. : ws . . . rponov. 

2 Perhaps Mavepwra and MavepatTt are to be preferred to 
the mss. accent, but the matter is very uncertain. 

3 ra TotavTa] ravra AVyttenbach. 

° At tlie end of the preceding chapter. 
42 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 357 

entrusted it to the care of the kings ; and even to 
this day the people of Byblus venerate this wood 
which is preserved in the shrine of Isis. Then the 
goddess threw herself down upon the coffin with such 
a dreadful wailing that the younger of the king's sons 
expired on the spot. The elder son she kept with her, 
and, having placed the coffin on board a boat, she 
put out from land. Since the Phaedrus river toward 
the early morning fostered a rather boisterous wind, 
the goddess grew angry and dried up its stream. 

17. In the first place where she found seclusion, 
when she was quite by herself, they relate that she 
opened the chest and laid her face upon the face 
within and caressed it and wept. The child came 
quietly up behind her and saw what was there, and 
when the goddess became aware of his presence, she 
turned about and gave him one awful look of anger. 
The child could not endure the fright, and died. 
Others will not have it so, but assert that he fell over- 
board into the sea from the boat that was mentioned 
above. 3 He also is the recipient of honours because 
of the goddess ; for they say that the Maneros of 
whom the Egyptians sing at their convivial gather- 
ings is this very child. 6 Some say, however, that his 
name was Palaestinus or Pelusius, and that the city 
founded by the goddess was named in his honour. 
They also recount that this Maneros who is the theme 
of their songs was the first to invent music. But 
some say that the word is not the name of any person, 
but an expression belonging to the vocabulary of 
drinking and feasting : M Good luck be ours in things 
like this ! ", and that this is really the idea expressed 

h Cf. Herodotus, ii. 79 ; Pausanias, ix. 29. 3 ; Athenaeus, 
620 a. 

43 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

<f)a)V€iv iKaarore tovs Alyvrrriovs* toorrep d/zc'Act 
/cat to SeiKvvjjLevov avrols etScoXov dvOpumov 
redvrjKOTOs iv ki/3ootloj 7T€pL(f>€p6(JL€vov ovk eariv 

VTTOpLVrjfJLa TOV 7T€pl 'OcrtptSoS" TT&OoVS , Tj TIV€S V7TO- 

Xanfidvovoiv, dAA' Oeoofxevovs: 1 7rapaKaXovv 2 olvtovs 
XpfjcrOcu rots TTapovcFi /cat diroXaveiVy <bs navras 
aurt/ca pudXa toioijtovs ioopbivovs, ov y&piv im 
K&fjLov* iueiodyovoi. 

18. Tt}s 8' "IcnSo? >7Tp6s tov viov T Qpov iv Boura) 
Tpe^ofievov tto pevd e lo7]s , to 8' dyyelov iKiroScbv 
d7ro0€jjb€V7]s, Tv<f>a>va KwrjyeTovvTa vvKToop 7Tpos 
358 T< *} v oeXqvrjv IvTvy/iv avTto, /cat to c/co/xa yvtopl- 
aavTa hceXelv eh TeTTapeaKaiheKa [iipr\ koX St- 
applifjar ttjv 8' *Iolv TrvOofjLevrjv dva^rjTelv iv jSdptSt 
TrairvpivQ ra 4 iXrj SieKTrXiovoav 66 ev ovk dSt/cctaflat 

TOVS €V 7r<L7TVpLVOlS OKd(f)€OL TrXioVTCLS VTTO TtOV 

KpoKO&etXojv rj (jyopovfievcov 7} oefiopievcov 181a 6 

TTjV 0€OV. 

'E/c tovtov Se /cat ttoXXovs Tacfrovs 'OolptSog iv 
AlyvTTTto Xiyeodat 8td to 7rpooTvyxdvovcrav e/cdorcp 

[l,€p€l TCL<f)ds TTOieiV. OL 8* OV (froLOLV, dAA* €tSa>Aa 

TTOiovjJLevrjv StSoVat 6 KaB' e/cdcrr^v 7roAti> cos to ooajjua 

B StSoOorav ottcos irapd TrXelooiv exj) Tip,ds, kolv 6 

Tv<f>cbv iiriKpaTrjcrr) tov "£lpov, tov dXrjdtvov Ta(f>ov 

1 dewfiivovs F.C.B., cf. 148 a; olva)p.4vovs Markland: olo- 
fievovs. 

2 napaKaXovu F.C.B. : napaKaXelv. 

8 ov x<ipw im koj/aov] a\aptv imKOjfiov Emperius. 

4 ra Basel ed. of 1542 : ra 8*. 

5 tblq. F.C.B. : Sta. 

6 SiSoVat] hcaSovvai Markland. 

tt Cf. Moral ia, 148a; Herodotus, ii. 78; Lucian, Ds 
biictu\ 21. b Cf. 366 a, infra. 

44 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 357-358 

by the exclamation " maneros " whenever the 
Egyptians use it. In the same way we may be 
sure that the likeness of a corpse which, as it is 
exhibited to them, is carried around in a chest, is 
not a reminder of what happened to Osiris, as some 
assume ; but it is to urge them, as they contemplate 
it, to use and to enjoy the present, since all very 
soon must be what it is now and this is their purpose 
in introducing it into the midst of merry-making. 

18. As they relate, Isis proceeded to her son Horus, 
who was being reared in Buto, & and bestowed the 
chest in a place well out of the way ; but Typhon, 
who was hunting by night in the light of the moon, 
happened upon it. Recognizing the body he divided 
it into fourteen parts c and scattered them, each in 
a different place. Isis learned of this and sought 
for them again, sailing through the swamps in a boat 
of papyrus.** This is the reason why people sailing 
in such boats are not harmed by the crocodiles, since 
these creatures in their own way show either their 
fear or their reverence for the goddess. 

The traditional result of Osiris s dismemberment is 
that there are many so-called tombs of Osiris in 
Egypt e ; for Isis held a funeral for each part when 
she had found it. Others deny this and assert that 
she caused effigies of him to be made and these she 
distributed among the several cities, pretending that 
she was giving them his body, in order that he might 
receive divine honours in a greater number of 
cities, and also that, if Typhon should succeed in 
overpowering Horus, he might despair of ever finding 

e Cf. 368 a, infra. Diodorus, i. 21, says sixteen parts. 
d Cf. Eusebius, Praepar. Evang. v. p. 198 b. 
e Cf. 359 a, 365 a, infra, and Diodorus, i. 21. 

45 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(358) ^rjrajv, TroAAoiP Aeyofiepojp /cat SeiKPupuEPtop an- 
ayopevorj. 

Mopop Se tlov fieptop rod 'OcrtyotSos* ttjp r Ioip oi>)( 
evpeip to clISolov evOvs yap els top norajjiov pi<f>rjvai 
/cat yevaaadai top re A€tti8ojtop avrov /cat rov 
(f)dypov koX rov o^vpvyxpv , ooovs 1 jxaXiora tojv 
lx9vojv d(f)ooLovcr9aL 2 ' rrjV 8' T Icrtv aVr' €K€tvov 
/i/'/xT^a TTOiy](ja\iivr\v Kadiep&ocu top <fiaAA6p, to 
koI vvv ioprd^ecv rovs Alywnriovs. 

!<)• "EneLra tu> v £lp<j) rov "Ocrtptp i£ "AiSov 

7TapOS/£v6jJL€VOV $ICL7T0P€IP €77" t TTjV /Xa^7^ Kol 0.(7K€W, 

elra SupojTTJoat ri koAAlotop rjyeirat' rod Se 
(f>i]jo.vroSy "rep irarpi /cat (jLrjrpl TifiajpcZv kolkws 

C ttclOovolv," Szvrepov ipeoOai ri ^p^at/xajTaroi^ 3 
o'Urai 1,cqov et? P>dxqp etjiovtrf rod S' "Clpov 
11 iTTTTov "* zlttovtos, emOavfJidoaL /cat hiaTTop-qcrai 
7Ttos ov Aiovra piaXAop dAA Xttttov. eiTrelv ovv top 
T £lpov d>s Aio>v pL€V oj^eAifJiov eVtSeo/xeVa) fiorjOt la$, 
Ittttos §6 (j)evyovra hiaorrdoai /cat KaravaAcooat top 
TToAlpuop. dhcovcravT ovp rjcrdrjpat top T OotpiP, 
aV? LKapcos 7TapacrK€vacraiJL€P0V tov "Qpov. Aeyercu 
S* ort ttoAAojp iieTaTiQepLepajp act irpos top T £lpop 
/cat rj TTaAAaKT) tov Tv(f>a>pos at^t'/cero Qov-qpcs. o<f>is 

D hi tis imSicoKajp avTrjp vrro tcop nepi top 'Qpop 
KaT€K07Trj, /cat pvp Sta tovto oypiplov tl rrpofidA' 

AoVT€S €t? fJLZCFOV KaTOLKOTTTOVGl. 

1 oaovs F.C.B. (or ovs a>s Meziriacus): cbs ovs, 
2 afioeiovodai] a<j>oaiovvrai Reiske. 

3 xP r l (Jl l JLC * >TaT0U Emperhis : xP y l ot P L< ^ )r€ P 0V * 
4 Ittttov] Xvkov Benseler. 

a Cf. Diodorus, i. 21, • Cf. 365 c, infra. 

46 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 358 

the true tomb when so many were pointed out to 
him, all of them called the tomb of Osiris. a 

Of the parts of Osiris's body the only one which Isis 
did not find was the male member, 5 for the reason 
that this had been at once tossed into the river, and the 
lepidotus, the sea-bream, and the pike had fed upon 
it c ; and it is from these very fishes the Egyptians 
are most scrupulous in abstaining. But Isis made a 
replica of the member to take its place, and con- 
secrated the phallus,** in honour of which the Egyptians 
even at the present day celebrate a festival. 

19. Later, as they relate, Osiris came to Horus 
from the other world and exercised and trained him 
for the battle. After a time Osiris asked Horus 
what he held to be the most noble of all things. 
When Horus replied, " To avenge one's father and 
mother for evil done to them," Osiris then asked him 
what animal he considered the most useful for them 
who go forth to battle ; and when Horus said, " A 
horse," Osiris was surprised and raised the question 
why it was that he had not rather said a lion than a 
horse. Horus answered that a lion was a useful thing 
for a man in need of assistance, but that a horse 
served best for cutting off the flight of an enemy and 
annihilating him. When Osiris heard this he was 
much pleased, since he felt that Horus had now an 
adequate preparation. It is said that, as many were 
continually transferring their allegiance to Horus, 
Typhon's concubine, Thueris, also came over to him ; 
and a serpent which pursued her was cut to pieces 
by Horus's men, and now, in memory of this, the people 
throw down a rope in their midst and chop it up. 

« Cf. Strabo, xvii. 1. 40 (p. 812). 
d Cf. Diodorus, i. 22. 6. 

47 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(358) Trjv [xkv ovv fidx^]v ^ 7rt ttoXXcls rjpLepas yeviodai 
Kal Kparrjoai tov T £lpov rov Tvficova Se rrjv T loiv 
Se$zp,evov irapaXafiovcrav ovk dveXelv, dXXd /cat 
Xvoac Kal fxeOecvai' rov S' T £lpov ov fxerpccvs eV- 
eyKelv, aAA' eTrifiaXovra rfj jxr^rpl raj xetpas 
arrow aval rrjs /ce^aA^? to fSaoLXetov 'Epfirjv Se 
TTepideivac fiovKpavov avrij Kpdvos. 

Tov 8e Tv(f><x)vos hiK-qv ra> "Qpcv vodeias Xaxovros, 

fioriOrjcravTos Se 1 rod ^pjiov, Kal 1 rov T Qpov imo 

Ttov Oetov yvqaiov Kptdrjvai, tov §€ Ttx^awa bvalv 

E aAAai? /xa^at? Kar air oXepaqOrjvai. rrjv S' *Iolv i£ 

'OcriplSoS /X€T(X T7)V reXevrrjv OVyy€VOjJL€VOV T€K€IV 

rjXirojjiTjvov Kal dodevrj tois Karojdev yviois rov 
'ApiroKpdrrjv. 

20. Tavra cr^SoV ion, tov puvOov rd K€<f>dXata 
rtbv Svcrfirj/jLOTaTcov igacpedevrcov, otov eon to rrepl 
tov "Qpov SiafxeXiOfJiov Kal tov "Io-iSo? aTTOK€<f>aXi- 
Gjxov. on p,€V ovv, el ravra irepl rrjs fiaKapias Kal 
dcfjQdpTov cfrvcrews, Kad ffv jjudXiora voelrai to 
Qelov, <l)s dXrjOcbs irpayQevra Kal avpareoovra So£a- 
t,ovoi Kal XiyovoLV, 

aTTOTTTvaai hel Kal Ka6rjpao0ai orofia 2 
/car' AlaxvXov, ov&ev Bel Xeyeiv irpos oe, Kal yap 
JT avrrj BvoKoXaiveis tois ovtoo Trapavojxovs Kal /?ap- 
fidpovs Solas' irepl 9ea>v exovotv. on 8' ovk eoiKe 
Tavra KopuBfj fivdevpiaow dpaiots Kal oiaKevots 
nXdopLaaiv, ola TTonrjral Kal Xoyoypd<j>oi Kaddrrep oi 

1 8c and Kal] Reiske would omit. 
2 aTOfia Reiske : to ard/xa. 

• C/. 377 b, infra. 

6 Cf. Moral ia, 1026 c, and De Anima, L 6 (in 
Bernardakis's ed. vol. vii. p. 7). 

48 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 358 

Now the battle, as they relate, lasted many days 
and Horus prevailed. Isis, however, to whom Typhon 
was delivered in chains, did not cause him to be put 
to death, but released him and let him go. Horus 
could not endure this with equanimity, but laid hands 
upon his mother and wrested the royal diadem from 
her head ; but Hermes put upon her a helmet like 
unto the head of a cow. 

Typhon formally accused Horus of being an illegi- 
timate child, but with the help of Hermes to plead 
his cause it was decided by the gods that he also was 
legitimate. Typhon was then overcome in two other 
battles. Osiris consorted with Isis after his death, 
and she became the mother of Harpocrates, untimely 
born and weak in his lower limbs. 

20. These are nearly all the important points of the 
legend, with the omission of the most infamous of 
the tales, such as that about the dismemberment of 
Horus b and the decapitation of Isis. There is one 
thing that I have no need to mention to you : if they 
hold such opinions and relate such tales about the 
nature of the blessed and imperishable (in accordance 
with which our concept of the divine must be framed) 
as if such deeds and occurrences actually took place, 
then 

Much need there is to spit and cleanse the mouth, 

as Aeschylus c has it. But the fact is that you your- 
self detest those persons who hold such abnormal 
and outlandish opinions about the gods. That these 
accounts do not, in the least, resemble the sort of 
loose fictions and frivolous fabrications which poets 
and writers of prose evolve from themselves, after 

c Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag., Aeschylus, no. 354. 

49 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

apayyai yevvoovres aft iavTcov drrapxas avvrro- 
dirovs xxfxxivovoi Kal airoreivovoiVy dA/V k'xet tlvcls 

CLTTOpiLOV 1 KOLL TTaOtOV StfiyrjGeiS , OVV1]CT€LS aVTYj .* KOLl 

KaOaTrep oi /xa^/xart/cot ti\v Ipiv epb^aatv elvai tov 
rjXtov Xiyovoi 7rou<iXXopL<zvr)V rfj rrpos to V€<f>os dva- 
359 X co P 7 l cr€i ' 3 r V$ oifj€0)9, ovtqjs 6 fjLvOog evravOa Xoyov 
twos k'pL(j)acrl$ ccjtcv avaKkojvTos It? aAAa ttjv Sea- 
voiav, (hs V7ro8rjXovaiv a? re Qvoiai to rrivdipuov 
k'xovoai Kal CFKvdpumov epufxiLv 'opuevov , at T6 tojv 
va&v otaOeaeis irfj puev dveipLevojv els TTTepd Kal 
opopbovs vrratOpiovs Kal Kadapovs , 7rfj he KpvTTTa 
Kal OKOTia KaTa yrjs lypvTCov OToXiOTrjpia ot/aStoi? 4 
loiKOTa Kal G'qKols' oi>x rJKicrTa S* rf tojv 'Ooipeiojv 
oo£a, TToXXaxov KelaQai Xeyouevov tov oojp,aTos' 
B ty\v re ydp Aio^m^ 6 ovopbd^eaOaL ttoXlxvtjv X<=yov- 
aiv, d)S pLovrjv tov dXrjOtvov ^xovaav, ev t 'AjSuSoj 
tovs cuoaipuovas tlov hlywnTiojv Kal SvvaTovs 
pidXiGTa OdrcTCoOai, <j)iXoTip,ovpLevovs o/xora^ou? 
elvat tov oajftaTos 'Oaipt§o$. iv ok Mett</>€t Tpi- 

<f)€Cr9ai TOV ^AtTLV, €iSojXoV OVTa T7JS €K€lVOV fox^S , 

ottov Kal to atD/xa Keiadar Kal ttjv pucv ttoXlv oi 
fiev oppbov dya8a>v ippLrjvevovatv, oi S' ISlojs 7 Tafiov 

1 a7Topiu>v Sieveking and F.C.B. : a-nopias. 

2 auvqaus aurrj (assuming: haplography) or eiay F.C.B. ; 
olaO y avrrj Bernardakis; yivcooiceis Sieveking": avTJj. 

3 cI'.'a^cop7j(ja] avcLKAdaeL Reiske ; avaxp^oei Wyttenbach. 

4 ouaSt'oi? F.C.B. ; dr/Kaiois Bouhier: O^aiots. 

5 7)] rj TTtpl ? E. Capps. 

6 kioxLTT)v I folwerda from Steph. Byzantinus : ixeirlvov. 

7 I8(a)s Wyttenbach : a>?. 

a Cf. Strabo, xvii. 1. 28 (p. 804.). 
b Cf 358 a, supra, and 365 a, infra, 

50 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 358-359 

the manner of spiders, interweaving and extend- 
ing their unestablished first thoughts, but that 
these contain narrations of certain puzzling events 
and experiences, you will of yourself understand. Just 
as the rainbow, according to the account of the 
mathematicians, is a reflection of the sun, and owes its 
many hues to the withdrawal of our gaze from the 
sun and our fixing it on the cloud, so the somewhat 
fanciful accounts here set down are but reflections of 
some true tale which turns back our thoughts to 
other matters ; their sacrifices plainly suggest this, 
in that they have mourning and melancholy reflected 
in them ; and so also does the structure of their 
temples, a which in one portion are expanded into 
wings and into uncovered and unobstructed corridors, 
and in another portion have secret vesting-rooms in 
the darkness under ground, like cells or chapels ; and 
not the least important suggestion is the opinion held 
regarding the shrines of Osiris, whose body is said to 
have been laid in many different places. 5 For they 
say that Diochites c is the name given to a small town, 
on the ground that it alone contains the true tomb ; 
and that the prosperous and influential men among 
the Egyptians are mostly buried in Abydos, since it 
is the object of their ambition to be buried in the 
same ground with the body of Osiris. In Memphis, 
however, they say, the Apis is kept, being the image 
of the soul of Osiris,* 1 whose body also lies there. The 
name of this city some interpret as " the haven of 
the good " and others as meaning properly the " tomb 

c The introduction of Diochites here is based upon an 
emendation of a reading found in one ms. only. The 
emendation is drawn from Stephanus Byzantinus, a late 
writer on geographical topics. 

d Cf 3G2 c"and 368 c, infra. 

51 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(359) 'OatptSos. ttjv he 7rpos QlAous 1 vt)oi& ayvrjv 2 oAAojs 
[lev afiarov aVacrt /cat aTTpooTTeXaoTOv etvai /cat 
jj,7}&' opvidas en clvttjv Karaipew 3 /x^S' lx$vs 
7TpoG7T€Xd^€iv, ivl 8e Kcupcp tovs Upeis Sta/Jat- 
vovras ivayl^eiv /cat Karaare(f>€Lv to 077/xa /x/^St/ajs 4 
<f)VTtp 7T€piaKLat,6[jL€Vov , virepaipovTi Trdorjs iXalas 
fieyeOos. 
C 21 . EuSo^os Se, 7toAAcov rd^cov iv AlyvTTTU) 
Aeyofievcov, ev Bouort/nSt to owjxa KelaBar /cat yap 
7Ta,Tpl8a TavTTjv yeyovivat tov 'OcrtptSos" ovk€tl 
fjievroL Xoyov Setodat tt)v Ta<f>6oipiv aifTo yap 
cf)pdt!,€w Tovvofia Tacf>rjv 'OcrtptSos'. €a> 6 Se TOfxrjv 
£vXov /cat ayioiv Xlvov /cat x°^ X eo ^ vas ^ t( * T ° 
7roAAa tcjv [xvoTiKajv avafA€jji€LxOai tovtois. ov 
fiovov he tovtcov* oi Upels Xiyovoiv, aAAa /cat twv 
aXXajv Oecov, oaot /xr) dyivvryroi prfi acfrOapTot, tol 
p,kv acojxaTa 7rap* avTots KeiaOai Ka/movTa /cat depa- 
D TTevecrdaL, tols Se ipvxds iy ovpavcp AattTrew aoTpa, 
/cat /caAetcj#at Kvva itev ttjv "IatSos" i><f>* 'EiXAtjvojv, 
V7t' PdyVTTTLOJV §€ YicbOiv, *Q,pLwva Se ttjv "Qpov? 
T7)V Se Tv(f)U>VOS dpKTOV. €LS §€ ras Ta<f>ds* T&V 

TipLOjpidvajv t,co(x)v tovs /xev aAAous owrcTayttcVa 

1 OtAais Squire : irvXas or 7ruAats. 

2 vrjaio* ayvrjv (dubiously) F.C.B. : vtcrriTdvrjv. 

3 Karalpeiv Xy lander : KapT€p€tv. 

4 fi-qbiiajs F.C.B., assuming it to be a variant for ircpoeas: 
/ti?7$' Wr]s or firfli&qs* 

5 «2 Wyttenbach : alvu>. 

6 rourcov] toutou Baxter. 

7 t^v "Qpou Xylander : top <Zpov. 

8 ra^ay Salmasius : ypa<f>as. 

• C/. Diodorus, i. 22, and Strabo, xvii. p. 803, which 
52 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 359 

of Osiris." They also say that the sacred island by 
Philae a at all other times is untrodden by man and 
quite unapproachable, and even birds do not alight 
on it nor fishes approach it ; yet, at one special time, 
the priests cross over to it, and perform the sacrificial 
rites for the dead, and lay wreaths upon the tomb, 
which lies in the encompassing shade of a persea- 6 
tree, which surpasses in height any olive. 

21. Eudoxus says that, while many tombs of Osiris 
are spoken of in Egypt, his body lies in Busiris ; for 
this was the place of his birth ; moreover, Taphosiris c 
requires no comment, for the name itself means " the 
tomb of Osiris/* I pass over the cutting of wood, d the 
rending of linen, and the libations that are offered, 
for the reason that many of their secret rites are 
involved therein. In regard not only to these gods, 
but in regard to the other gods, save only those 
whose existence had no beginning and shall have no 
end, the priests say that their bodies, after they have 
done with their labours, have been placed in the 
keeping of the priests and are cherished there, but 
that their souls shine as the stars in the firmament, 
and the soul of Isis is called by the Greeks the Dog- 
star, but by the Egyptians Sothis, e and the soul of 
Horus is called Orion, and the soul of Typhon the 
Bear. Also they say that all the other Egyptians pay 
the agreed assessment for the entombment of the 

seem to support the emendation " Philae." Others think 
that the gates (the ms. reading) of Memphis are meant. 

b The persea-tree was sacred to Osiris. 

c Cf Strabo, xvii. 1. 14 (pp. 799 and 800). Tradition 
varies between Taphosiris and Taposiris, and there may be 
no " tomb " in the word at all. 

d Cf 368 a, infra. 

e Cf Moralia, 974 f. 

53 



PLUTARCH'S MORAL1A 

(359) reAetr, jjlovovs Se /jltj StSoVat rovs Qrj^atSa kclt- 
oikovvtcls, <bs Ovrjrov deov ouSeVa vojxi^ovras , 
dAA* ov koKovolv avrol Kn^, dyivvrjrov ovra /cat 
dOdvarov, 

22. HoXXojv Se tolovtcdv Xeyofievajv /cat Set/oa»- 
fieviDV, ol fji€v olofievoi jSacrtAe'aw ravra /cat rvpdv- 

VOJV, St' dp€TTjV VTT€p<f>4pOVGav fj SvVCLfJLLV d^LCOfJLCL TTJS 

Sofys 1 deorrjros eTrtypaifjafievcov etra xp^cra/zeVan' 

E Tvxais, epya /cat 7rddrj Setvd /cat fxeydXa Sta/zn^uo- 

veveadai, pdarr) fiev aVoSpaaet rov Xoyov xp&vrai 

/cat to 8vacf)rjfjLov ov <f>avXios drro ra>v Oetov err' 

dv9pCx)7TOV£ fjL€TOL(f)€pOVOri , /Cat TCLVTCLS 2 CXOVOLV aVo 

rtov iaropovjilvcav ftorjOelas. loropovoi yap Alyv- 
7moL rov /juev 'JLp/jLjjv TO) aco/JLOTL yeveodai yaAe- 
dyKcova, rov Se TvcfyGyva rfj XP° a Ttvppov, XevKov 
Se rov T £lpov /cat /jueXdyxpovv rov "Ocnpcv, co? rfj 
(/)va€t yeyovoras dvdpchrrovs. ert Se /cat orparrjydv 
dvojid^ovoLV "Ooipiv, /cat Kvfiepvrjrrjv Kdvtofiov, 
ov (f>aoiv €7Ta>vvjjLov yzyovevai rov dorepa* /cat to 
F itXoiov, o kolXovolv "EAA^ves 1 'Apyw, rfjs 'OatptSos 

V€<j)S eiSojXoV €7TL TLfJifj Kar7]Or€plOjJL€VOV ', OV fAOLKpdv 

c/)€p€G0aL rod *Q.piojvo$ /cat rod Kwo?, <Lv rov /xev 
"Qpov rov z S' "IcrtSos Upov Alyvrrrioi vofic^ovacv. 

23. 'Okvco Se, fir] rovr fj rd aKivrjra klvziv /cat 

" 7ToX€/Jl€LV " OU " TW 77oAAaJ XpOVLp " (/CaTa 2t/XO>- 

1 ttJ? Sdfqs 1 F.C.B. : tt; So^. 

2 Tauraj] rotavras Michael. 

3 rov . . . rov Reiske (confirmed by one ms.) : to ... to. 

a Cf, Diodorus, i. 84, ad fin., for the great expense often 
involved. 

b That is, to die, and thus to lose their claim to divinity ; 
cf. 360 r, infra. This is common Euhemeristic doctrine. 

c Cf. 363 a and 364 b, infra, 
54 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 359 

animals held in honour, but that the inhabitants of 
the Theban territory only do not contribute because 
they believe in no mortal god, but only in the god 
whom they call Kneph, whose existence had no 
beginning and shall have no end. 

22. Many things like these are narrated and 
pointed out, and if there be some who think that 
in these are commemorated the dire and momentous 
acts and experiences of kings and despots who, by 
reason of their pre-eminent virtue or might, laid claim 
to the glory of being styled gods, and later had to 
submit to the vagaries of fortune, b then these persons 
employ the easiest means of escape from the narrative, 
and not ineptly do they transfer the disrepute from 
the gods to men ; and in this they have the support of 
the common traditions. The Egyptians, in fact, have 
a tradition that Hermes had thin arms and big elbows, 
that Typhon was red in complexion, Horus white, and 
Osiris dark, c as if they had been in their nature but 
mortal men. Moreover, they give to Osiris the title 
of general, and the title of pilot to Canopus, from 
whom they say that the star derives its name ; also 
that the vessel which the Greeks call Argo, in form 
like the ship of Osiris, has been set among the con- 
stellations in his honour, and its course lies not far 
from that of Orion and the Dog-star ; of these the 
Egyptians believe that one is sacred to Horus and 
the other to Isis. 

23. I hesitate, lest this be the moving of things 
immovable d and not only " warring against the long 
years of time, " as Simonides e has it, but warring, too, 

d Proverbial : cf. e.g. Plato, Laws % 684 n. 
e Cf. Bergk, Poet, I/yr. Graec. in., Simonides, no. 193, 
and Edmonds, Lyra Graeca % ii. p. 340 in L.C.L. 

55 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

viZ-qv) [xovov, " ttoAAoZs S' avdpcoircjv eOvecri " kgli 

y€V€(7L KOLTOXOLS VTTO TTJS 7TpOS TOVS deoi)S TOVTOVS 

oaioTrjTos, ovSev airoXiTTovras 1 i£ 2 ovpavov itera- 
</>epeiv €7tl yyjv oVo/xara rrjXiKavra, /cat Tipbrjv /cat 
360 ttLotlv oXiyov helv omaaiv e/c 7rpa)Trjs yeveoecos 
evheSvKvlav e^tOTavai /cat dvaXveiv, pLeydXas puev 
rep ddeto Xetp* /cAtataSas 1 dvoiyovras /cat e^avOpa)- 
7Ti£ovras 4 ra Beta.) Xaparpdv 8e rols EvrjpLepov rod 
M.eaor)viov cf>evaKtapiols 7Tapprjoiav StSoVras, os 
avr6s dvrtypa(f>a ovvOels drriarov /cat dvvirdpKTov 
pivOoXoyias rtaoav ddeorrjTa KaTaaKe&dvvvot, rrjs 

OtKOVfjLeV7]S, TOVS VOfjLt^OpLeVOVS dtOVS TTOVTaS OfjLdXaJS 

hiaypdcJHjjv els oVd/xara 5 or partly a>v /cat vavdpx<*>v 
/cat fiaoiXeiov cos 8rj wdXac yeyovoTtov, ev he 
B TldyxovTi ypdpLpLaac xP vao ^ dvayeypapipievojv* 
ols ovre fidpfiapos ovoels ovd' "EAA?^ aAAa piovos 
JLvrjpLepos, cos eotKe, vXevoas els rovs prjhajjLoOi yijs 
yeyovoras p,r)o ovras Ylayxcoovs /cat T pufavXXovs 
everervxr]KeL? 

24. KatVot tteyaAat p,ev vpvovvrai Trpd^eis ev 
'Acravpiois ^epipdpiLos, /xeyaAat Se 8 HeocooTptos ev 
AlyviTTcp' Qpvyes oe p^expt vvv ra Xafirrpd /cat dav- 
piaard tcov epycov Ma^t/ax kclXovotl Sta to M-dinqv* 
Ttvd tcov rrdXai fiaaiXecov dyadov dvSpa /cat hvvarov 
yeveodai Trap avrois, ov evioi Mdohrjv kolXovoi- 
l\vpos he Ylepaas Ma/ceSoVa? 8' *AXe£avhpos oXiyov 

1 dTToXiTTovras] aTroX^iTTovras Sieveking. 

2 i£\ rod i£ Baxter. 

3 Xea)] Acovri Pohlenz, omitting /ecu below. 

4 igavOpwTTi^ovTas Markland: c^avdpcjni^ovri or e£avOpa)m- 

£oiT€S. 

5 ovo/xara Baxter : ovofia. 

6 avaytypafifievwv Salmasius : dvaycypa/x/xcVots. 
56 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 359-360 

against " many a nation and race of men " who are 
possessed by a feeling of piety towards these gods, 
and thus we should not stop short of transplanting 
such names from the heavens to the earth, and 
eliminating and dissipating the reverence and faith 
implanted in nearly all mankind at birth, opening wide 
the great doors to the godless throng, degrading 
things divine to the human level, and giving a splendid 
licence to the deceitful utterances of Euhemerus of 
Messene, who of himself drew up copies of an incredible 
and non-existent mythology, and spread atheism over 
the whole inhabited earth by obliterating the gods of 
our belief and converting them all alike into names of 
generals, admirals, and kings, who, forsooth, lived in 
very ancient times and are recorded in inscriptions 
written in golden letters at Panchon, which no 
foreigner and no Greek had ever happened to meet 
with, save only Euhemerus. He, it seems, made a 
voyage to the Panchoans and Triphyllians, who never 
existed anywhere on earth and do not exist ! 

24. However, mighty deeds of Semiramis are cele- 
brated among the Assyrians, and mighty deeds of 
Sesostris in Egypt, and the Phrygians, even to this 
day, call brilliant and marvellous exploits " manic " 
because Manes, 6 one of their very early kings, proved 
himself a good man and exercised a vast influence 
among them. Some give his name as Masdes. 
Cyrus led the Persians, and Alexander the Mace- 

° Doubtless rj Upd dvaypa<j>rj (sacra scriptio) ; see Diodorus, 
v. 41-46, and vi. 1. 

b Cf. Herodotus, i. 94, iv. 45, and W. M. Ramsay, 
Mitteilungen des deutsch. arch. Institutes in Athen y viii. 71. 

7 €»'CT€Tu^Acct] c\T€Tvxr)K€ Reiske. 8 8e Bases : 8* at. 

9 Mdmjv Salmasius : pdvtv. 

57 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(360) 8eti> eirl iripas rfjs yfjs Kparovvras irporfyayov* aAA' 
C dvo\ia /cat \Lvr\pjY)v fiaatXecov dyaOcov exovacv. " ei 
8e rives e^apdevres 1 vnd fieyaXavxtas ," dos <}>7}<jw 6 
UXdrcov, " dfia vedrrjri Kal dvola 2 (f>Xeyd{ievoi rrjv 
t/svxrjv ^€0' vf$pea>s " ehe^avro Qe&w eTrojvvp,ias /cat 
vacov lopvoets, fipaxvv TJvdrjoev rj So£a xP° vov > € ^ Ta 
Kevorrjra Kal aXa^oveiav /xcr* doe^etas Kal 7rapa- 
vopiias 7Tpooo<f>A6vT€s 

d)Kvjiopoi Kairvolo 8iK7)v dpBevres drreTTrav, 

Kal vvv warrep dywyijjioi SpaTrerat tlov lepdov Kal 
rcov fiatjJLibv aTTOOiraodivTes ovhev aAA' rj rd pwrj- 
jxara Kal rovs rd<f>ovs exovoiv. 60 ev ' Avrlyovos 

D d yepwv, 'Epp,oSoTov twos ev Trovr\[Lavw avrov 
tjAlov Traioa /cat aeoi> arayopcuoyros', ov 
roiavrd jjlol," evnev, " 6 Xaaavocf>dpos crvvoiSev." ev 
Se Kal Avat7T7Tos d 7rXdarrjs y A7reXXrjv ipLepaparo rdv 
£,u>ypd(f>ov , on ttjv 'AAe^dVSpou ypd(f>a>v eiKova 
Kepavvov ivex^ipioev, avros 8e Xdyx^v, fjs rrjv 
oo^av ovhe els dcfyatprjoeTat ^poVos 1 dXrjdwrjv Kal 
I8tav ovoav. 

25. BeXriov ovv ol rd rrepl tov Tv<f>d*va Kal 
"Ooipiv Kal *\otv loTopov\ieva \ir\re detov 7radi]- 
fiara p,r\r dvOpomajv, dXXd Sacfidvatv fieydXajv elvat 

E vopLL^ovreSt ov$ z Kal YlXdrojv Kal Uvdaydpas Kal 

1 e^apdcvTcs Xy lander : i^aipedivrcs. 

2 avoia Plato : dyvola. 

3 ovs Xylander from Euseb. Praep. Ev. v. 5 : cos. 

a Adapted from Plato, Laws, 716 a. 

b From Empedocles : cf. H. Diels, Poet-arum Philoso- 
phorum Fragmenta, p. 106, Empedocles, no. 2. 4. 

Plutarch tells the same story with slight variations in 
Moralia, 182 c 

58 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 360 

donians, in victory after victory, almost to the ends of 
the earth ; yet these have only the name and fame of 
noble kings. " But if some, elated by a great self- 
conceit," as Plato a says, " with souls enkindled with 
the fire of youth and folly accompanied by arrogance, " 
have assumed to be called gods and to have temples 
dedicated in their honour, yet has their repute 
flourished but a brief time, and then, convicted of 
vain-glory and imposture, 

Swift in their fate, like to smoke in the air, rising upward 
they flitted,* 

and now, like fugitive slaves without claim to protec- 
tion, they have been dragged from their shrines and 
altars, and have nothing left to them save only 
their monuments and their tombs. Hence the elder 
Antigonus, when a certain Hermodotus in a poem pro- 
claimed him to be " the Offspring of the Sun and a 
god," said, " the slave who attends to my chamber- 
pot is not conscious of any such thing ! " c Moreover, 
Lysippus the sculptor was quite right in his dis- 
approval of the painter Apelles, because Apelles in 
his portrait of Alexander had represented him with 
a thunderbolt in his hand, whereas he himself had 
represented Alexander holding a spear, the glory of 
which no length of years could ever dim, since it was 
truthful and was his by right. 

25. d Better, therefore, is the judgement of those 
who hold that the stories about Typhon, Osiris, and 
Isis, are records of experiences of neither gods nor 
men, but of demigods, whom Plato e and Pythagoras f 

d In connexion with chapters 25 and 26 one may well 
compare 418 d-419 a and 421 c-f, infra, and Eusebius, 
Praepar. Evang. iv. 21-v. 5. * (7/. 361 c, infra. 

f Cf. Diogenes Laertius, viil. 32. 

59 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

SevoKpdrrjs /cat XpvonrTros , eiropievoi rots TrdXai 6eo- 
Aoyois, epptop,eveorepovs puev dvdpdoTTcov yeyovevai 
Xeyovai /cat noXv 1 rfj hvvdfxei rr\v fyvoiv vnep- 
(f)€povras rjjJLtov, to 8e Oelov ovk d/xiyes ov$* aKparov 
eXOvraSy dXXd /cat iftvxrjs <f>vaet 2 /cat acvfiaros al~ 
adtfcrei 3 crvveiXr)Xos , rjSovrjv hexop,evov l /cat rrovov, /cat 
ocra ravrats iyyevdfteva rats fxera^oXais nddrj rovs 
fxev fxaXXov rovs 8'' rjrrov eVtraparret. ylyvovr ai 
yap, <bs ev dvOpdmois, Kav h halij,ocriv aperies Sea- 
F <l>opal /cat /ca/ctas*. ra yap Yiyavru<d /cat TtTavt/cd 
Trap* "EXXrjcrw aoopieva /cat Kpovov* rives ddecrfjioi 
rrpd^eis /cat Ylvdajvos avrird^eis npos KiroXXawa, 
(fyvyac 7 re Acouvcrov /cat TrXdvai Arj^rpos ovSev 
aTToAeLTTovoi rdv 'Oatpta/cajy /cat Tv^covlk&v aXkiov 
9* &v Trao*w* e^eariv dveSrjv p,vQoXoyovp,eva)v 
aKoveiv ooa re fJuvcrrtKols iepols TTeptKaXvTrropLeva 9 
/cat reXerals appyyra Siaaco^erai /cat ddeara irpos 
rovs 7toXXovs, ojJLOtov e%€t Xoyov . 

26. 'A/coJo/zev Se /cat 'OfJLTjpov rovs ju,€v dyaOovs 

8ia<f)6pajs 10 " OeoeiSeas " eKaorore koAovvtos 11 /cat 

361 avriUeovs /cat t/eaw a7ro /u/^oe e^ovras', roj 

1 ttoAu Eusebius : ttoXStj. 

2 <f>vo€i . . . ataflrfaei] <f>voeu}s . . . aladrjoeuis Baxter. 

3 alaO-qoci Xylander from Eusebius : aloOtfaa cV. 

4 Sexofisvov (or Se^o/xev?;) Eusebius : h€xojj.evr)v. 

5 Krav Hatzidakis : «ai. 

6 Kpdvou] ra>AAat Eusebius. 

7 <^uyat Xylander from Eusebius ; <f>96poi ? F.C.B. : (frdoyyoi. 

8 7raatv] irapa ndaiv Eusebius. 

9 7T€/)t/caAi»7rTO/x.eya] 7rapaKa\v7rr6i±€va Eusebius. 

10 hia<f>6po>s] hta(f>€p6vTO)s Hatzidakis. 

11 koXovvtos added by Reiske. 

60 






ISIS AND OSIRIS, 360-361 

and Xenocrates a and Chrysippus, 6 following the lead of 
early writers on sacred subjects, allege to have been 
stronger than men and, in their might, greatly sur- 
passing our nature, yet not possessing the divine 
quality unmixed and uncontaminated, but with a 
share also in the nature of the soul and in the percep- 
tive faculties of the body, and with a susceptibility to 
pleasure and pain and to whatsoever other experience 
is incident to these mutations, and is the source of 
much disquiet in some and of less in others. For in 
demigods, as in men, there are divers degrees of 
virtue and of vice. The exploits of the Giants and 
Titans celebrated among the Greeks, the lawless 
deeds of a Cronus, c the stubborn resistance of Python 
against Apollo, the flights of Dionysus , d and the 
wanderings of Demeter, do not fall at all short of 
the exploits of Osiris and Typhon and other exploits 
which anyone may hear freely repeated in traditional 
story. So, too, all the things which are kept always 
away from the ears and eyes of the multitude by 
being concealed behind mystic rites and ceremonies 
have a similar explanation. 

26. As we read Homer, we notice that in many 
different places he distinctively calls the good " god- 
like ' ' e and ' ' peers of the gods ' ' f and ' ' having prudence 

a Cf. Stobaeus, Eclogae, i. 2. 29. 

b Cf. Moralia, 277 a, 419 a, and 1051 c-d ; and von 
Arnim, Stoicorum Vetervm Fragmenta, ii. 1103(p. 320). 

c The vengeance which he wreaked on his father Uranus. 

d Homer, II. vi. 135 ff. If <f>96poi. is read ("destructions 
wrought by Dionysus ") there would be also a reference to 
the death of Pentheus as portrayed in the Bacchae of Euri- 
pides. Cf. also Moralia, 996 c. 

• The word is found forty-four times in Homer. 

1 Homer employs this expression sixty-two times. 

61 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(361) S' oltto tcov Saijxovoov Trpoaprjixari yjHti\i£vQV koivws 
inl re wqar&v Kal <f>avXcov, 

Saifiovie a^cSoi' cXde* tltj SetSt'crcreat ovtoos 
'Apyelovs ; 

Kal 7TclXlv 

aXX* ore Srj to reraprov ineaavro Saifiovi laos* 



/cat 



SaifJLOVLTJ, TL VV G6 HpidflOS UpidfJiOLO T6 TTCuSeS 

Toooa KOLKa pe^ovoiv, 5 r doirepx^S fieveau'eis 
'lAtov i^aXand^ai ivKTifxevov TTToXUOpov ; 

cos tcov Saipbovoov fXLKrrjv Kal dvcopiaXov <f>voiv ixdv- 

tcov Kal 7rpoaip€Oiv. oOev 6 [lev HXaTOOv 'OXvjjl- 

TTLOis Oeols rd Se^ta. /cat TtepiTTa ra 8 dvrtytova 

B tovtcov SaifJLocriv aTTo8L8coaw . 6 Se 'RevoKpaT-qs Kal 

tcov rjjJi€poov ras a7TO(f>pd8ag Kal tcov ioprow ooai 

7rXr)yds Tivas ^ Konerovs ^ vrjoretas rj Svafirjjjiias rj 

aiaxpoXoylav zyovoiv ovre Oecov Ttfxalg ovre 8at- 

fjLOVtov oierai irpooriKeiv xP^vtoov, aAA* elvai (frvaeis 

iv too TTCpilyovTi p.eydXas fxev Kal Icrxypds, 8voTpo- 

ttovs Se /cat (JKvOpoonds, at x a ^P 0VO1 ro ^ rotourots, 

/cat Tvyxdvovcrai 7rp6g ov8ev dXXo x^P ov Tpiirovrai* 

Tovs 8e xP 7 ] crro ^ *ndXiv Kal dyaOovs 6 (T 
02 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 361 

gained from the gods/ ° but that the epithet derived 
Aom the demigods (or daemons) he uses of the worthy 
and worthless alike b ; for example : 

Daemon-possessed, come on ! Why seek you to frighten the 

Argives 
Thus ? c 

and again 

When for the fourth time onward he came with a rush, like 
a daemon d ; 

and 

Daemon-possessed, in what do Priam and children of Priam 
Work you such ill that your soul is ever relentlessly eager 
Ilium, fair-built city, to bring to complete desolation ? e 

The assumption, then, is that the demigods (or 
daemons) have a complex and inconsistent nature 
and purpose ; wherefore Plato / assigns to the 
Olympian gods right-hand qualities and odd numbers, 
and to the demigods the opposite of these. Xeno- 
crates also is of the opinion that such days as are days 
of ill omen, and such festivals as have associated with 
them either beatings or lamentations or fastings or 
scurrilous language or ribald jests have no relation to 
the honours paid to the gods or to worthy demigods, 
but he believes that there exist in the space about us 
certain great and powerful natures, obdurate, how- 
ever, and morose, which take pleasure in such things 
as these, and, if they succeed in obtaining them, 
resort to nothing worse. 
Then again, Hesiod calls the worthy and good 

a See Homer, Od. vi. 12. b Cf. 415 a, infra. 

e Iliad, xiii. 810. d Ibid. v. 438, xiv. 705, xx. 447. 

e Ibid. iv. 31. 

f Plato, Laws, 717 a, assigns the Even and the Left to the 
ehthonic deities, and Plutarch quite correctly derives his 
statement from this. 

63 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(361) 'Hat'oSo? " dyvovs 1 Satfiovas" kcll " <f>vXai<as av~ 
9pu)7ra)P " Trpoaayopevec, 

7tAovto86t(ls /cat tovto yepas fiaaiXiqiov 2 e^ovras. 

C o T€ YiXdroyv ipfx-qvevriKov to tolovtov bVo/zd£et 
yevos /cat oiclkovikov eV fjieaa) Qzojv /cat dvOpcoTTCov, 
eu^a? /xeV e/cet /cat Serjae l$ dvdpcoTrcov dvcnrtpsnov- 
ras, iK€L0€v Se fxavreia 8evpo /cat Socreis dyaOojv 
<f>epovTas. 

*EifjLTT€$oKAr}s Se /cat St/cas* (frrjal StSoVat tovs 
SaifJiovas div aV 3 e£a/xd/3Ta>crt /cat TrA^/x/zeA^craKTW, 

aWepiov {lev yap o<f>e pievos ttovtovoz Stoj/cet, 
ttovtos 8' es "xjdovos ovScls drreTTTVoe, yata 8' 

es avyas 
rjeXlov dfcajLtavros, 5 o 8' aWdpos e)u,j8aAe StVat?- 
dXXos 8' e£ dAAou Se'^erat, orvyeovai 8e 

irdvrts' 

dxpi ov KoXaadevres ovtoj /cat Kadapdivrzs avOis 
rrjv Kara <j>voiv yojpav /cat rd^iv a7roAd/?a>at. 
D 27. Toi/raw Se /cat raw tolovtcop dSeA</>d Ae'ye- 
odai <^aat 7rept Tv(f>u)vos , <bs Set^a /xeV V7TO <j)66vov 
/cat 8vcrfi€V€Las elpydaaro, /cat Trdvra 7Tpdy[xara 
rapd^as eVeVA^cre kclkcov yfjv ojjlov re Traoav /cat 

ddXaTTCLV, €IT<L SlK7)V eSa>/Cei/. Tj Se TLjJLOJpOS 

1 dyvour] cV0Aoi Hesiod, O.D. 123. 

2 ^acriA^'iov] probably fiacriXijov (fiaoiXciov ?) should be read 
as the metre demands. 

3 av added by Duebner from Eusebius. 

4 avyas in Hippolytus, Refutatio : avdis. 

5 aKanavTOs] ^aeOovros Hippolytus. 

° Hesiod, Works and Days, 123 and 253. Cf. Moralia, 
431 e, infra. 

64 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 361 

demigods " holy deities " and " guardians of mortals " a 
and 

Givers of wealth, and having therein a reward that is kingly. 6 

Plato c calls this class of beings an interpretative 
and ministering class, midway between gods and 
men, in that they convey thither the prayers and 
petitions of men, and thence they bring hither the 
oracles and the gifts of good things. 

Empedocles d says also that the demigods must pay 
the penalty for the sins that they commit and the 
duties that they neglect : 

Might of the Heavens chases them forth to the realm of 

the Ocean ; 
Ocean spews them out on the soil of the Earth, and 

Earth drives them 
Straight to the rays of the tireless Sun, who consigns 

them to Heaven's 
Whirlings ; thus one from another receives them, but 

ever with loathing ; 

until, when they have thus been chastened and 
purified, they recover the place and position to which 
they belong in accord with Nature. 

27. Stories akin to these and to others like them 
they say are related about Typhon ; how that, 
prompted by jealousy and hostility, he wrought 
terrible deeds and, by bringing utter confusion upon 
all things, filled the whole Earth, and the ocean as 
well, with ills, and later paid the penalty therefor. 

b Works and Days, 126, repeated in 417 b, infra. 

c Symposium, 202 e. Cf. also M or alia, 415 a and 416 c-f, 
infra, and Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiq. i. 77. 

d Part of a longer passage from Empedocles; cf. H. Diels, 
Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, i. p. 267, Empedocles, no. 115, 
9-12. Cf. also Moral la, 830 f. 

65 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(361) 'OclptSos dSeXcfrrj Kal yvvrj rrjv Tvcjtcovos crfieoaoa 
Kal KaraTTavoaoa fjuavlav /cat Xvrrav ov rrep teiSe 
rovs d6Xovs Kal rovs dycovas, ovs dverXrj, /cat 
vXdvag avrrjs /cat rroXkd fiev k'pya oo(f>tas ttoXXol 8' 
dvSpe las, dfiV7]arlav vnoXapovoa 1 /cat aicoTrrjv, dXXd 
Tat? dyajordrais dva[A€i£aoa reXerals st/coVa? /cat 
vnovoias /cat juxxt^/xara 2 rcov rore rraOrnxdrcov, 
evoefielas ofxov Si'8/iytxa /cat rrapapivdiov dvhpdai 

E /cat ywat^u' vtto ov[jL<f)op<jjv e^ojiteVot? ofiolcov 
Kadcoolcooev. avrrj Se /cat "Oatpis" e/c SatttoVaw 
dyadcov St' aper^y 3 et9 deovs fxera^aXovres > cos 
ilorepov f Hpa/cA^9 /cat AtoVucros', a/xa /cat #6a>v /cat 
Sat/xoVa>v ovk diro rpoirov /xe/xtyixeVa? Tt/xa? k\ovoi 
7ravraxov xxeV, eV Se rots' 4 U77€p y^y /cat 5 u7ro yrjv 
Swdfievoi \xiyiarov. ov yap aAAof etyat Hdpami' 
rj t6v YlXovTOovd (j>acri, Kal r loiv rrju Tlepcre^acrcrav, 
cos 'Apx e / xa X° ? ^tprjKev 6 Eu/Joez)? /cat 6 Uovtlkos 
'HpaKXelSrjs* to xPV ar VP loi; * v Kayoj/?a> ITAoi;- 

F towo? rjyovfievos et^at. 

28. nToActtatos* 8' o Hcorrjp ovap etSe 7 toi> eV 
Hivamr) rod UXovrcovos koXoooov , ovk emoratxeyo? 
ou8* icopaKcos Trporepov olos rrjv piopcfrrjv rjv* 
KeXevovra /co/xtcrat rrjv rax^or-qv avrov els 'AAe£- 
dvopeiav. dyvoovvri 8 avrco Kal diropovvri ttov 
KaOiopvrai Kal StT/you/xeVo; Tot? ((>IXols rrjv oifjiv 
€vpe6rj 7ToXv7rXav7}s dvdpcorros 6Vo/xa TiCoolJIlos eV 

1 vnoXapovaa] vnoXafiovoav Meziriacus; vnoXapovra Mark- 
land ; but cf. 473 c. 2 /tt/x^/xara Baxter : fiifirj^ia. 
3 dp€TT)v Reiske : dp€Tijs. 4 rot? Xylander : tovtols* 

5 tW/) y^v *ai] Xylander would omit. 

6 'lIpaKXciSrjs Xylander : -qpaKXeiros. 

7 ovap ef8e Baxter : avetAe. 

8 ty added by Meziriacus. 

66 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 361 

But the avenger, the sister and wife of Osiris, after 
she had quenched and suppressed the madness and 
fury of Typhon, was not indifferent to the contests 
and struggles which she had endured, nor to her own 
wanderings nor to her manifold deeds of wisdom and 
many feats of bravery, nor would she accept oblivion 
and silence for them, but she intermingled in the 
most holy rites portrayals and suggestions and re- 
presentations of her experiences at that time, and 
sanctified them, both as a lesson in godliness and an 
encouragement for men and women who find them- 
selves in the clutch of like calamities. She herself 
and Osiris, translated for their virtues from good 
demigods into gods, a as were Heracles and Dionysus 
later, b not incongruously enjoy double honours, both 
those of gods and those of demigods, and their powers 
extend everywhere, but are greatest in the regions 
above the earth and beneath the earth. In fact, 
men assert that Pluto is none other than Serapis and 
that Persephone is Isis, even as Archemachus c of 
Euboea has said, and also Heracleides Ponticus d who 
holds the oracle in Canopus to be an oracle of Pluto. 
28. Ptolemy Soter saw in a dream the colossal 
statue of Pluto in Sinope, not knowing nor having 
ever seen how it looked, and in his dream the statue 
bade him convey it with all speed to Alexandria. He 
had no information and no means of knowing where 
the statue was situated, but as he related the vision 
to his friends there was discovered for him a much 
travelled man by the name of Sosibius, who said that 

a Cf. 363 e, infra. 

» Cf. Moralia, 857 d. 

' M filler, Frag. Hist. Graec. iv. p. 315, no. 7. 

d Ibid. ii. 198 or Frag. 103, ed. Voss. 

67 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

TiW<x>7rr) <f>d[JL€Vos iwpaKevai tolovtov KoXoaaov 

olov 6 fiaaiXzvs loelv eSogev. enefjufjev ovv TiOJTtXrj 

/cat Alovvglov y 1 ot XP° VC P ttoXXco /cat fioXcs, ovk 

362 dvev /xeVrot Oeias rrpovoias, rjyayov e/c/cAe't/Wres'. 

e77ei Se KopuicrOeis OJ(f)9rj, GVjJLJ3aA6vT€S OL TTtpl TlflO- 

Oeov tov i^rjyrjrfjv /cat Mavc^awa tov ^efievvvTrjv 
TIAovtojvos ov ayaA/xa, rep Kepftepq) re/c/xatpo- 
fxevot /cat rep Spdn;ovTL, tt€lOovgl tov IlToAe/xatov 
cos erepov 6ea)v ovSevos aAAd Hapdirioos Iotiv. 
ov yap eKetdev ovrcug 2 ovopba^ofjievos rjKev, dXX* 
els 'AAefdVSpetav Kopuodels to Trap AlyvTrriois 
oVo/xa tov YiXovTOJvos eKTrjaaTO tov Hdpajuv. 
/cat /xeVrot 3 'H/xt/cActrou tov (frvcriKov XeyovTOS, 
" "AtS^s* *at AtoVi/cros" ojvtos* ot€co fiatvovTat /cat 
Xrp/atQovoiv >'* et? TavT-qv vndyovoi tt\v oo^av. ot 
B yap a£iovvT€S "AtSrjv XeyeaOat to aajfia ttjs ipvxrjs 
olov 7rapa<f)povova7]9 /cat {leOvovarjs iv avTtu, 
yXioxpois dXXrjyopovoL. jSeArtov Se tov "Oacpiv 
els TavTO ovvdyetv tco Alovvgu), tco t OcripiSi tov 
HdpaTTiv, ot€ TTjv (J)vglv /xere'/JaAe , TaVTTJS Tl'XOVTl* 
ttjs TTpocnqyopias. 816 rraoi kolvos 6 Hdparris eort, 
cos" St] 7 tov "Oatotv ot tcjv lepcov p,€TaXapovT€s 
'loaoiv. 

1 Aiovvaiov from 984 a : hiovvoov, 

2 ovtojs Salmasius: ovros. 

3 fievroi] Schellens would add ra. 

4 ojvtos Wyttenbach from Eusebius : ovros. 

5 6t€o> . . . Xrjvat^ovGLv from Clement of Alexandra, Pro- 
trepticus 34 (p. 30 Potter) : ore ovv . . . XrjpalvovaLv. 

6 rvxovrt Squire : rv^ovra. 

7 hrf Hemardakis: 8e. 

° Cf. Moralia, 984 a ; Tacitus, Histories, iv. 83-81, who 
tells the story more dramatically and with more detail ; 
68 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 361-362 

he had seen in Sinope just such a great statue as 
the king thought he saw. Ptolemy, therefore, sent 
Soteles and Dionysius, who, after a considerable time 
and with great difficulty, and not without the help of 
divine providence, succeeded in stealing the statue and 
bringing it away. a When it had been conveyed to 
Egypt and exposed to view, Timotheus, the expositor 
of sacred law, and Manetho of Sebennytus, and their 
associates, conjectured that it was the statue of 
Pluto, basing their conjecture on the Cerberus and 
the serpent with it, and they convinced Ptolemy that 
it was the statue of none other of the gods but Serapis. 
It certainly did not bear this name when it came from 
Sinope, but, after it had been conveyed to Alexandria, 
it took to itself the name which Pluto bears among 
the Egyptians, that of Serapis. Moreover, since 
Heracleitus b the physical philosopher says, " The 
same are Hades and Dionysus, to honour whom they 
rage and rave," people are inclined to come to this 
opinion. In fact, those who insist that the body is 
called Hades, since the soul is, as it were, deranged 
and inebriate when it is in the body, are too frivolous 
in their use of allegory. It is better to identify 
Osiris with Dionysus c and Serapis with Osiris , d who 
received this appellation at the time when he changed 
his nature. For this reason Serapis is a god of all 
peoples in common, even as Osiris is ; and this they 
who have participated in the holy rites well know. 

Clement of Alexandria, Protrepticus, iv. 48 (p. 42 Potter) ; 
Origen, Against Celsus> v. 38. 

b Cf, Diels, Frag, der Vorsokratiker, i. 81, Heracleitus 
no. 14. 

c Cf. 356 b, supra, and 364 d, infra. 

d Cf. 376 a, infra, and Pauly-Wissowa, s.v. Sarapis (vol. 
i. a, col. 2394). 

69 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(362) 29. Ov yap d£iov Trpooexeiv rols Qpvyiois ypdp,- 
pacriv, €V ols Xeyerat HdpaTns vlos 1 pev rod 
'HpaKXeovs yeveadai Ovydrrjp r % *Iois, 'AA/catou 3 
8e rod 'HpaKXeovs 6 Tv<f)tbv ov8e Q>vAdpxov A PV 
Kara<j>poveiv ypd(f>ovros on Trpcnros els Alyvrrrov 
C e£ 'IvBcov Aiovvoos rjyaye 8vo fiods, a>v tjv rep pev 
T Arris ovopa ra> 8' "Ooipis' Papains 8' ovopa rod 
ro 7Tav Koopodvros , ion Trapa ro " aaipeiv," o 
KaXXvveiv rives /cat Koapieiv Xeyovoiv. drorra yap 
ravra rod QvXdpxov, ttoXXco 8' arorcojrepa rd 6 rcov 
Xeyovrajv ovk elvai deov rov Hdpamv, dXXa rrjv 
"Am8os oopov ovrojs dvopd^eodai, /cat ^aA/cd? 
rivas ev Mep<f>ei mjXas Xrjdrjs /cat KOJKvrod Trpoa- 
ayopevopevas , orav 6d7Trojot rov ^Attiv, dvoiye- 
o6ai, fiapv /cat OKXr\pov ifjocfrovoas* 8t6 navros 
r)")(odvros rjpas xaA/cco/Ltaros' eTTiXapfidveaOai . pe- 
rpiwrepov 6 8' oV Trapa ro " aeveoOai " /cat ro 
" aodadai " rrjv rod Travros a/xa kivtjoiv elprjodai 
J) <f>dvKovres . oi he TrXeioroi rcov Upeojv els ravro 
<f)aot, rov "Ooipiv avpTTerrXexOai /cat rov ^Attiv, 
e£r]yovpevoi /cat StSdaKovres rjpas, a**? eppoptpov* 
et/coVa XPV vofil&tv rrjs 'OcripiSos tp v XVS rov 

1 T,dpa7ns Reiske, vlos F.C.B. (the context seems to require 
yiupams here) : x a P 07r< *>s rovs. 

2 t' added by F.C.B. 

3 T lms Emperius, 'AAkcuoi; F.C.B. : loaiaKoi). 

4 <f)v\dpxov Xylander: <f>i\dpxov. 

5 Ta added by Squire. 

s fierpicoTcpov] fi€TptcoT€poi Baxter. 

7 oi added by Xylander. 

8 €iifxop<f>ov 9 as in 368 c, Wyttenbach : tvpiopfyov. 

Cf. Cicero, De Natura Deorum, iii. 16 (42). 
* Cf. Pauly-Wissowa, I.e., col. 2396-2397, for other etymolo- 
gies. The derivation from sairein (sweep) is wholly fanciful. 

70 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 362 

29. It is not worth while to pay any attention to 
the Phrygian writings, in which it is said that Serapis 
was the son of Heracles, and Isis was his daughter, 
and Typhon was the son of Alcaeus, who also was 
a son of Heracles ; nor must we fail to contemn 
Phylarchus, who writes that Dionysus was the first to 
bring from India into Egypt two bulls, and that the 
name of one was Apis and of the other Osiris. But 
Serapis is the name of him who sets the universe in 
order, and it is derived from " sweep " (sairein), which 
some say means " to beautify " and " to put in order. " b 
As a matter of fact, these statements of Phylarchus 
are absurd, but even more absurd are those put forth 
by those who say that Serapis is no god at all, but 
the name of the coffin of Apis ; and that there are 
in Memphis certain bronze gates called the Gates of 
Oblivion and Lamentation, which are opened when 
the burial of Apis takes place, and they give out a 
deep and harsh sound ; and it is because of this that 
we lay hand upon anything of bronze that gives out 
a sound. d More moderate is the statement of those 
who say that the derivation 6 is from "shoot" 
(seuesthai) or " scoot " (sousthai), meaning the general 
movement of the universe. Most of the priests say 
that Osiris and Apis are conjoined into one, thus 
explaining to us and informing us that we must regard 
Apis as the bodily image of the soul of Osiris/ But 

e Cf. Diodorus, i. 96, and Pausanias, i. 18. 4, with Frazer's 
note. 

d Cf. Moralia, 995 e-f ; Aristotle, Frag. 196 (ed. Rose); 
or Porphyry, Life of Pythagoras, 41. 

e This derivation (from seuesthai or sousthai) is also 
fanciful. 

1 Cf. 359 b, supra, and 368 c, infra, and Diodorus, i. 85. 
4-5. 

71 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(3G2) T Amv. eyco Se, el p,ev Alyvfrrtov eon rovvopa 
rov Hapdmoos, ev^poavv^v avro 8r)Xovv ototxai 
Kal -)(apixoGvv*qv , TeKpatpopevos otl rrjv eoprrjv 
AlyvTTTioi ret x a Pf JLoavva " oalpei" KaXovow. Kal 
yap UXdrajv tov "AiS^y obs oj^eXrjatpLov 1 Tots Trap* 
avrto 2 yevopbevots Kal 7rpoor)vrj Oeov oovopdodat 
<f)7)or Kal reap* Alyvirrlois dXXa re rroXXd roov 
ovopdrojv Xoyoi etm, 3 Kal tov vttox® oviov toVov, 
els ov oiovrac ra? i/jvxds airepxeadai puerd rfjv 
reXevrrjv, *ApL€V0r)v koXovol, orjpaivovTos tov 

E ovoparos rov Xapfidvovra Kal otoovra. el 8e Kal 
tovto toov e*K rrjs 'EAAaSos 1 aireXdovToov TrdXat 
Kal peTaKopiodevTOOv ovopdrcov ev eariv, vorepov 
€7naK€ifj6pie9a' vvv oe ra Xomd rfjs ev X e P OL oo^rjs 
TTpoohieXdajpev . 

SO. '0 puev yap "Ocnpcs Kal rj ^lais eK Saipovoov 
dyadoov els deovs perrjXXa^av ttjv 8e rov Tv<f>a>vos 
r}p,avpu)p,evr]v Kal avvTeTpcppevrjv Svyapav, em oe 
Kal ijtvxoppayovoav Kal a^aodl^ovcrav , eartv ats 
Trap-qyopovai dvaiais Kal Trpavvovotv eon 8' ore 

F rrdXcv eKra7retvovai Kal KadufUpL^ovoiv ev tlolv 
eoprals, rcov puev dvOpcoTrojv tovs mvppovs Kal 
TTpoTnqXaKi^ovres , ovov oe. Kal KaTaKprjpvl^ovTes , 
cos KoiTTLTai, Sta to TTvppov yeyovevai rov Tvcbcova 
Kal ovoohrj ttjv xP oav ' 'Bovaiplrat he Kal Avko- 
TToXlrai adXiTiy^iv ov ^pcoi/rat to irapdrrav cos ovco 
<f>6eyyopevais ep<f>epes. Kal oXoos rov ovov ov 

1 d)(t>€Xyaifiov F.C.B. (cf. Plato, CratyL 403 e iiiyas €V€py€rrjs 
ra>v trap* avrto) : albovs vlov. 2 axncp Wyttenbach : avrov. 

3 Aoyot €loI] Xoyov l^ei Pohlenz. 

72 



ISIS AND OSIRIS. 362 

it is my opinion that, if the name Serapis is Egyptian, 
it denotes cheerfulness and rejoicing, and I base this 
opinion on the fact that the Egyptians call their 
festival of rejoicing sairei. In fact, Plato a says 
that Hades is so named because he is a beneficent and 
gentle god towards those who have come to abide 
with him. Moreover, among the Egyptians many 
others of the proper names are real words ; for 
example, that place beneath the earth, to which they 
believe that souls depart after the end of this life, 
they call Amenthes, the name signifying " the one 
who receives and gives." Whether this is one of 
those words which came from Greece in very ancient 
times and were brought back again h we will consider 
later, but for the present let us go on to discuss the 
remainder of the views now before us. 

30. Now Osiris and Isis changed from good minor 
deities into gods. d But the power of Typhon, 
weakened and crushed, but still righting and strug- 
gling against extinction, they try to console and mollify 
by certain sacrifices ; but again there are times when, 
at certain festivals, they humiliate and insult him by 
assailing red-headed men with j eering, and by throwing 
an ass over the edge of a precipice, as the people of 
Kopto do, because Typhon had red hair and in colour 
resembled an ass. 6 The people of Busiris^ and 
Lycopolis do not use trumpets at all, because these 
make a sound like an ass g ; and altogether they 

° Plato, Cratylus, 403 a-404 a, suggests various deriva- 
tions of the name Hades. 
6 Cf. 375 e-f, infra. 

c Cf. 375 d, infra. * Cf 361 e, supra. 

e Cf 359 e, supra, and 364 a, infra ; for Kopto cf. 356 d. 
f Cf. Moralia, 150 e-f. 
9 Cf. Aelian, Be Natura Animalium, x. 28. 

73 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

Kadapov dAAa Sai/zovt/cov rjyovvTat ^wov etvat, Sia 
rrjv irpos ZkzZvov o/iotor^Ta, /cat TTonava 7tolovvt€s 
iv dvoiais tov T€ Havvl /cat tov Oaco^t /.t^i'o? 
363 iirtnXdTTOVcn 7rapdar]fjLov ovov SeSe/xeVo*'. eV Se 
tt; tow rjXiov Bvcria rots ae/Jo/ieVots* 1 tov deov irapey- 
yvtoat fif) (f)op€Lv inl tw aa>/u,art xP va ^ a l 17 ]^ °^ 
rpo<f)7)v StSoVat. <f>aivovrai Se /cat ol WvdayopiKol 
rov Tv<f)u>va SaLjjLoviKTjV rjyovfxtvoi 8vvcl[jliv. Ae'- 
yovai yap iv dpricp jierpto €KTcp /cat TTevTrjKoorcv 
yeyoveVat Tv<f>a>va' /cat 7rdAty ttjv p,kv tov Tpiycovov 
"AtSou /cat AtcWaou /cat "Apeos eimt* ttjv Se tow 
reTpaywvov 'Pea? /cat 'A(f>po8lTr]s /cat A^/x^rpos" 
/cat 'Ecrr/as* /cat "Hpas 2, r^ Se to£ Sco8eKayd)Vov 
AtoV T^y S' 3 €KKai7r€VTr)KOVTayojviov A Tv(/xx)Vos, 
<b$ EuSo£os loropr)K€V . 
B 31 . AlyvTTTioL Se irvppoxpovv yeyovevai tov 
Tv<f)tova vo/jLt^ovres /cat ra)r /JocSf rot)? nvppovs 
Kadcepevovoiv, ovrws aKpcfirj iroiovpLevoi ttjv 7rapa- 
Trjprjoiv, coare, /cai> tu'ai> c^g Tpi)(a fitXaivav rj 
XevKrjv, ddvrov rjyeiodai. Ovotfxov ydp ov <f>L\ov 
etvac 0€oi$, aAAa Tovvavriov, oaa tf/vxas dvoalcov 
ai'8pa)7Ta>v /cat dSiKOJV et? erepa jjL€Ta/xop(f>ovjjL€va)v 
aoj/zara owet'Ai^e. Sid ttJ /xeV K€<f>aAfj tov 
tepetou /carapacrd/xefot /cat diroKoifjavres etV rdf 

1 ocfioftevois Xy lander : ioojitvois. 

2 Kal *Hpas] Emperius would omit. 

3 ttjv 8*] r^v §€ roS Reiske; but, if we can trust the 
mss., Plutarch is very inconstant in keeping to a uniform 
phraseology. 

4 iKKaiTTivr^KoiTayojvlev Xylander : oKTiDKat,7T€vTi]KOVTa~ 
ycovlou. 

74 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 362-363 

regard the ass as an unclean animal dominated by 
some higher power because of its resemblance to 
Typhon, and when they make cakes at their sacri- 
fices in the month of Payni and of Phaophi they 
imprint upon them the device of an ass tied by a 
rope. 6 Moreover, in the sacrifice to the Sun they 
enjoin upon the worshippers not to wear any golden 
ornaments nor to give fodder to an ass. It is plain 
that the adherents of Pythagoras hold Typhon to be 
a daemonic power ; for they say that he was born in 
an even factor of fifty-six ; and the dominion of the 
triangle belongs to Hades, Dionysus, and Ares, that 
of the quadrilateral to Rhea, Aphrodite, Demeter. 
Hestia, and Hera, that of the dodecagon to Zeus, c and 
that of a polygon of fifty-six sides to Typhon, as 
Eudoxus has recorded. 

31. The Egyptians, because of their belief that 
Typhon was of a red complexion/ also dedicate to 
sacrifice such of their neat cattle as are of a red 
colour,* but they conduct the examination of these so 
scrupulously that, if an animal has but one hair black 
or white, they think it wrong to sacrifice it f ; for they 
regard as suitable for sacrifice not what is dear to the 
gods but the reverse, namely, such animals as have 
incarnate in them souls of unholy and unrighteous 
men who have been transformed into other bodies. 
For this reason they invoke curses on the head of the 
victim and cut it off, and in earlier times they used to 

* Cf Moralia, 150 f. 

* Cf 371 d, infra. 

c As the chief of the twelve gods presumably ; cf. Hero- 
dotus, ii. 4. 
d Cf 359 e, supra, and 364 a, infra. 

* Cf. Diodorus, i. 88. 

' Cf. Herodotus, ii. 38, and Diodorus, i. 88. 

75 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(363) rrorafiov Ippvnrovv TrdXat,, vvv Se rots £eVots" 
aTTohihovrai. rov he fxcXXovra Ovecrdai fiovv ol 
C cr<f)payicrral Aeyo/xeyot ra>v Upecov Karearjfxalvovro , 
rrjs G<f>payL&os , ws Icrropel Kacrrcop, yXv<j>r)v jxev 
ixoicrrfs avBpamov els yovv KadeiKora rals x e P aLV 
orriaoj TrepuqypLevais , e\ovra Kara rrjs o(f>ayrjs 
%L<f>os iyK€Ljj,evov drroXaveiv Se /cat rov ovov, 
tbonep ecprjrai, rrjs ofjioiorrjros Std rr)v apuadiav 
Kal rr)v vflpiv ovx rjrrov rj Sta rr)v %poav otovrat. 
Sto /cat row IlepoiKQJv fiaoiXeojv ixOpalvovres 
fidXccrra rov *Qx oi/ &S ivayrj Kal puapov, ovov 
lircDvopiaoav . KaKelvos €L7TOjv y " 6 fievroi 6vo$ 
ovros vpudjv Kartvojxrjoerai rov povv,' eOvos rov 
Amv, ojs Aeivojv IcrroprjKev. ol Se Xeyovres £k 
D rrjs l*>Q'X r }S €7r ' ovov ra> Tv(j>a>vi rrjv <f>vyr)v irrrd 
rjfjiepas 1 yevecrOac, Kal aojdevra yevvrjoat, valSas 
'lepoooXvfJiov Kal 'lovSaZov, avroOev elcrl KardSrjXoi 
rd 'IouSat/ca rrapeXKovres els rov [xvdov. 

32. Taura [xev ovv roiavras vrrovoias SiSaxriv 
aV dXXrjs 8' dpxfjs tcov <f)iXooo<f)Ojrep6v ri Xeyeiv 
SoKovvrojv 2 rovs arrXovordrovs VKei/jcofJieOa rrpcorov. 
ovroi 8' €tcw ol Xeyovres, wonep "EXArjves VLpovov 
dXXrjyopovcn rov xpovov, "Hpav 8e rov depa, ye- 
veaiv Se 'H<f>aiorov rr)v els rrvp depos fJLerafioXrjV , 
ovroj Trap 9 AlyvrrrloLS NeiAov elvai rov "Ooipiv 

1 r)fj.4pas Mark) and : iJ/ac'/hus. 
2 Sokovvtwv Eusebius, Praep. Ev. iii. 3: hvvap.4va>v. 

a "To Greeks," says Herodotus, ii. 39. Cf. Deuteronomy 
xiv. 21, " Thou shalt give it (sc. anything that dieth of itself) 
unto the stranger that is in thy gates ... or thou 
may est sell it unto an alien." 

6 Cf. Herodotus, ii. 38, and Porphyry, Be Abstinentta, 
iv. 7. 

76 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 363 

throw it into the river, but now they sell it to aliens. a 
Upon the neat animal intended for sacrifice those of 
the priests who were called " Sealers " 6 used to put 
a mark ; and their seal, as Castor records, bore an 
engraving of a man with his knee on the ground and 
his hands tied behind his back, and with a sword at 
his throat. They think, as has been said, d that the 
ass reaps the consequences of his resemblance 
because of his stupidity and his lascivious behaviour 
no less than because of his colour. This is also 
the reason why, since they hated Ochus e most of 
all the Persian kings because he was a detested 
and abominable ruler, they nicknamed him " the 
Ass " ; and he remarked, " But this Ass will feast 
upon your Bull," and slaughtered Apis, as Deinon has 
recorded. But those who relate that Typhon's flight 
from the battle was made on the back of an ass and 
lasted for seven days, and that after he had made his 
escape, he became the father of sons, Hierosolymus 
and Judaeus, are manifestly, as the very names show, 
attempting to drag Jewish traditions / into the legend. 
32. Such, then, are the possible interpretations 
which these facts suggest. But now let us begin over 
again, and consider first the most perspicuous of those 
who have a reputation for expounding matters more 
philosophically. These men are like the Greeks who 
say that Cronus is but a figurative name for Chronus g 
(Time), Hera for Air, and that the birth of Hephaestus 
symbolizes the change of Air into Fire. ft And thus 
among the Egyptians such men say that Osiris is the 

c Cf. Diodorus, i. 88. 4-5. d 362 f, supra. 

e Cf. 355 c, supra, and Aelian, Varia Historia, iv. 8. 

/ Cf. Tacitus, Histories, v. 2. 

9 Cf. Cicero, Be Natura Beorum, ii. 25 (64). 

* Cf. 392 c, infra. 

77 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(363) "laiSi avvovra rfj yfj, Tvcfrcova 8e rrjv OdXarrai', 
els rjv 6 NctAo? €fJL7Ti7rr(x)v d(f>avL^€rai Kal 8ia- 
E <777arcH, ttXtjv ooov r) yrj pitpos dvaXapL^dvovoa 
Kal SexofJievr) yiyverat yovifios vtt* avrov. 

Kai dprjvos Iotlv Upos cVt tov Kpovov 1 doofievos 2 - 
Oprjvel 8e tov iv tols apiorepols yiyv6\Ltvov pbipeoLV, 
£v Se rots' Se^iois (frOetpofievov AlyvTTTLOL yap 
o'lovrai ra ptev ecoa tov KoopLov rrp6oa>7Tov elvai, 
Ttt Se irpos fioppav Se£ta, ra Se irpos votov dptarepd. 

<f)€p6jA€VOS OVV €K TCOV VOTLUYV 6 NetAo?, €V 0€ 
TOLS f$Op€LOL$ V7TO TTjS daXaTTTJS KaTava\lOKOpi€VOS > 

€u<6to)S AeyeTai ttjv ukv yevtOLV iv tols dptarepoLs 
^X €tv > T V V ^* <f>6opdv iv tols Se^Lols. Sto ttjv 
t€ OdXaTTav ol Upels d</)ooLovvTaL Kal tov aAa 
Twf>a>vos d<f)p6v koXovol' Kal twv aVayopeuo/xeVan' 

F €V ioTLV aVTOLS €7Tl Tpa7T€L^7]S aAa pLTJ TTpOTLdtodaL . 

/cat KvfiepvrjTas ov npooayopevovoLV , otl \pcovTaL 
OaXaTTj) Kal tov filov diro tt}s OaXaTTrjs ex oVGlv - 
oix rJKLOTa Se Kal tov lx@vv diro TavTrjs TrpofidX- 
XovTaL ttjs aurias, Kal to pLLoelv lx^vl ypd(f>ovoLV. 
iv 2aei 3 yovv iv tco TTpoTrvXto tov Upov Trjs 'Adrjvas 
rjv yeyXvpupLevov fipecfros, yipojv, Kal /xera tovtov* 
Upaij, €(f>€^ijs S' tyOvSy €7rt iraOL S* lttttos TroTapiLos. 
ihrjXov Se au/ijSoAt/ccos", " a> yLyvopLevoi Kal aVo- 

1 Kpovov] NetAou Meziriacus. 

2 ahoficvos F.C.B. : yevo^vos. ([eVi] tou K. Acyd^xcvoj, Hart- 
man, avoids hiatus, but hiatus is not unknown in Plutarch.) 

3 Saet Hatzidakis (confirmed by papyri) : Eat. 

4 tovtov Bernardakis : rovro. 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 363 

Nile consorting with the Earth, which is Isis, and that 
the sea is Tjphon into which the Nile discharges its 
waters and is lost to view and dissipated, save for that 
part which the earth takes up and absorbs and thereby 
becomes fertilized.* 

There is also a religious lament sung over Cronus. 6 
The lament is for him that is born in the regions on 
the left, and suffers dissolution in the regions on the 
right ; for the Egyptians believe that the eastern 
regions are the face of the world, the northern the 
right, and the southern the left. c The Nile, therefore, 
which runs from the south and is swallowed up by the 
sea in the north, is naturally said to have its birth on 
the left and its dissolution on the right. For this 
reason the priests religiously keep themselves aloof 
from the sea, and call salt the " spume of Typhon " ; 
and one of the things forbidden them is to set salt upon 
a table d ; also they do not speak to pilots, 6 because 
these men make use of the sea, and gain their liveli- 
hood from the sea. This is also not the least of the 
reasons why they eschew fish/ and they portray hatred 
by drawing the picture of a fish. At Sa'is in the vesti- 
bule of the temple of Athena was carved a babe and 
an aged man, and after this a hawk, and next a fish, 
and finally an hippopotamus. The symbolic meaning 
of this was 9 : " O ye that are coming into the world 

° Cf. 366 a, infra. 

& For Cronus as representing rivers and water see Pauly- 
Wissowa, xi. 1987-1988. 

c Cf. Moralia, 282 d-e and 729 b. 

d Ibid. 685 a and 729 a. 

• Ibid. 729 c. 

' Cf. 353 c, supra. 

9 There is a lacuna in one ms. (E) at this point (God hateth 
. . . of departing from it). The supplement is from Clement 
of Alexandria ; see the critical note. 

79 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

ytyvofievoL, deos 1 dvaLSeiav /jLiael'*' to fiev yap 
fip€<j>os yeveaeojs avpufioXov, <j>dopas 8' 6 yepojv. 
UpaKi Sc tov deov ^pd^ovoiv , l^Ovi Se pZoos, 
a>G7T€p €LprjraL, Sta rrjv ddXarrav, ltttto) TTOTapiLcp 
364 8* avaLSecav Xeyerat yap diroKTeLvas tov 7rarepa 
ttj fJLrjTpl j8ta p,eLyvvodai. 8o£et€ Se Kav 2 to vtto 
tcov HvdayopiKOJV Xeyofievov, ojs rj ddXaTTa 
Y^povov h&Kpvov ioTtv, aivLTTeaOai, to fxr) KaOapov 
fJLTjSe ov/ji(f)vXov avTrjs. 

TavTa pAv ovv e£a>9ev elprjoda) kolvtjv k\ovia ttjv 
lOTopiav. (S3.) ol Se cro<f)a)T€pot tcov Upeoov ou 
fxovov tov NetAoy "Ocrtptv koXovglv ovSe Tv(fx.ova 
ttjv ddXaTTav, aXX "Ooipw p,ev glttXcos diraoav ttjv 
vyponoLOv apxty teal SiW/xu>, air Lav yeveoeojs /cat 
G7T€pfxaT09 ovcrLav vopuL^ovTes' Tv(f>cova Se irdv to 
avxp*?)pov /cat Trvpcooes /cat £r)pavTLKov oAoj? /cat 

B TToXepLLOV TTJ VypOTYjTl. StO /Cat TTVppOXpOVV* y€- 

yovevat, tco croj/xart /cat irdpojxpov vopiit^ovTes ov 
irdvv TTpodvpLOJS ivTvyxdvovoiv ov& rjheajs opaXovoi 

TOtS" TOIOVTOIS TT)V OlfjLV dvOpWTTOlS. 

Tov 8' "Oatpiv av ttoXlv [xeXdyxpovv yeyovivai 
pLvOoXoyovoiv , otl irdv vSa>p /cat yrjv /cat t/xarta 
/cat V€(f)rj /xeAatVet p,€t,yvvp,€vov, /cat tcov vewv 
vypoTrjs ivovoa Trapeze t tols rpt^a? /xcAatVa?- rj 
Se ttoXLojois olov <x>xpLaai$ vtto £rjpoTr)Tos em- 

1 dcos . . . 8' o y4p(x>v is supplied from Clement of Alex- 
andria, Stromateis, v. 41. 4 (p. 670 Potter): oeo . . . yepcov 
or Seoyepcov. If it were not for the lacuna in E, it would be 
possible to emend w yiyvo^voi kol dnoytyvofzevoi iotKapiev. 

2 ootjeie Baxter, he Kav F.C.B. (av Se kcll Baxter): Sdfei 5e /cat. 
8 iTvppoxpovv ( = rfj xP° a vrvppov, p. 359 e) Bernardakis : 

wvppoxpwv. 

a Cf. 371 e, infra. b Of. 353 c, supra. 

80 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 363-364 

and departing from it, God hateth shamelessness." 
The babe is the symbol of coming into the world and 
the aged man the symbol of departing from it, and by 
a hawk they indicate God, a by the fish hatred, as has 
already been said, 6 because of the sea, and by the 
hippopotamus shamelessness ; for it is said that he 
kills his sire c and forces his mother to mate with him. 
That saying of the adherents of Pythagoras, that the 
sea is a tear of Cronus/* may seem to hint at its impure 
and extraneous nature. 

Let this, then, be stated incidentally, as a matter 
of record that is common knowledge. (S3.) But the 
wiser of the priests call not only the Nile Osiris and the 
sea Typhon, but they simply give the name of Osiris 
to the whole source and faculty creative of moisture, 6 
believing this to be the cause of generation and the 
substance of life-producing seed ; and the name of 
Typhon they give to all that is dry, fiery, and arid/ 
in general, and antagonistic to moisture. Therefore, 
because they believe that he was personally of a 
reddish sallow colour/ they are not eager to meet 
men of such complexion, nor do they like to associate 
with them. 

Osiris, on the other hand, according to their legend- 
ary tradition, was dark, 7 * because water darkens 
everything, earth and clothes and clouds, when it 
comes into contact with them.* In young people the 
presence of moisture renders their hair black, while 
greyness, like a paleness as it were, is induced by 

e Cf. Porphyry, De Abstinently iii. 23. 
d Cf. Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis, v. 50. 1 (p. 676 
Potter), and Aristotle, Frag. 196 (ed. Rose). 

e Cf. 365 b, infra. ' Cf. 369 a and 376 f, infra. 

9 Cf. 359 e and 363 b, supra. 

h Cf. 359 e, supra. l * Cf. Moralia, 950 a. 

81 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(364) ylyvtrai toZs TrapaKfid^ovcrL. Kal to p,ev k'ap 
daXepov Kal yovipuov koll Trpocrrjves' to Se (f>9ivo- 
TTOjpov vyporrjTos eVSeta Kal <f>vrols TroXepuov /cat 
C £ojot? vocrcoSes. 

f O 8' eV 'HAt'ou rroXec rpefiofievos /3ovs, ov 
^Aveviv 1 KaXovcriv ('OoLpiSos 8' Upov, evioi Se 
Kal tov "AmSo? Traripa vo\xitpvai) , /xe'Aa? earl 
Kal Sevrepas e^et Tt/xas" /xera tov ^Attlv. ere ttjv 
Alyvirrov iv rols pLaXiura /xeAayyetov ovoav, too- 
7760 to pieXav tov 6<j)daXpLOV , X^/xtay /caAouox /cat 
/capSta 7rapet/cd£oL>crt* deppurj yap e'ort /cat vypa 
Kal rot? votlols /xepecrt ttJ? otKovpLevrjs, tooirep r) 
/capSta rols evatvvfiois tov avOpdmov, /xdAtara 
ey/ce'/cAetrat Kat npoaKeyo^pr^Kev . 

34. "HAto^ Se /cat oeA^Tp ou^ appuaaiv dXXd 
7tXolois S^TJfjLaaL xpojjiteVous 7rept7rAety (f>acnv 2 
D alviTTopievoL ttjv d</>' vypov rpo<f>r)v aurojy /cat 
yeWc/ty. otWrat Se /cat "Opaqpov cbairep QaXrjv 
pio£6vTa Trap* AlyvTTTiajv tiSojp dpXW dnavTOiv 
/cat yeVeatv TideaOat. tov ydp 'Q/ceaiw "Ooipiv 
elvaty ttjv Se TrjBvv *Icriv, chs TiOrjvovpLevrjv rrdvra 
Kal avv€KTp€(f)ovaav . /cat yap "EXXrjves ttjv tov 
CT7re'pp,aTosr Trpoeaiv 3 airovalav koXovgi Kal avvov- 
oiav ttjv pL€tt;iv, Kal tov vlov dno tov v'8aT0S /cat 
rod vcrac Kal rov AtoVuow " vrjv " oj? Kvpiov tt\s 
vyp&s fivcrews, ovx €T€pov 6Vra tov 'OcrtptSo?* /cat 

1 MvtvLv Basel ed. of 154-2 : fivvciv. 

2 (f>aaiv Badham ; Xiyovoiv Reiske : act. 

3 TTpoeatv Salmasius : TrpoOcoiv. 

° Cf, Aristotle, De Generatione Animalium, v. 1 (780 b 6). 

6 Cf. Diodorus, i. 21 ; Eusebius, Praepar. Evang. iii. 
13. 1-3 ; Strabo, xvii. 1. 22 ; Aelian, Be Natura Animalium, 
xi. 11 
82 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 364 

dryness in those who are passing their prime. a Also 
the spring-time is vigorous, prolific, and agreeable ; 
but the autumn, since it lacks moisture, is inimical to 
plants and unhealthful for living creatures. 

The bull kept at Heliopolis which they call Mneuis, 6 
and which is sacred to Osiris (some hold it to be the 
sire of Apis), is black and has honours second only to 
Apis. Egypt, moreover, which has the blackest of 
soils, c they call by the same name as the black portion 
of the eye, " Chemia," and compare it to a heart d ; for 
it is warm and moist and is enclosed by the southern 
portions of the inhabited world and adjoins them, like 
the heart in a man's left side. 

34. They say that the sun and moon do not use 
chariots, but boats e in which to sail round in then- 
courses ; and by this they intimate that the nourish- 
ment and origin of these heavenly bodies is from 
moisture. They think also that Homer/ like Thales, 
had gained his knowledge from the Egyptians, when he 
postulated water as the source and origin of all things ; 
for, according to them, Oceanus is Osiris, and Tethys 
is Isis, since she is the kindly nurse and provider for all 
things. In fact, the Greeks call emission apousia ° 
and coition synousia, and the son (hyios) from water 
(Jiydor) and rain (Jiysai) ; Dionysus also they call 
Hves 71 since he is lord of the nature of moisture ; and 
he is no other than Osiris.* In fact, Hellanicus seems 

c Cf. Herodotus, ii. 12. 
d Horapollo, Hieroglyph-lea, i. 22. 

e Cf. Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis, v. 41. 2 (p. 566* 
Potter) ; Eusebius, Praepar. Evang. iii. 11. 48. 
' II xiv. 201. 

9 Cf. Artemidorus, Oneiroeritica, i. 78. 
h Cf. the name Hyades of the constellation. 
* Cf. 356 b, 362 b, supra, and 365 a, infra. 

S3 



PLUTARCH'S MORAL1A 

(364) yap rov "Ooipiv 'EAAdVt/cos 1 "YcnpLV eotKev 1 a/07- 
Koevat vrro rcov tepioyv Aeyofievov ovtoj yap 
6vofid^a>p ScareXet rov 9eov, et/cdrojs* cltto rijs 
E <f>voea)S 2 /cat rijs evpioeojg . 3 

35. \JTL jjiev ovv o avrog eon lslovvgoj riva 
jxdXXov rj oe yiyva)OK€LV, to KAca, Srj rrpoGrJKov 
eonv, ap^i'Sa 4 p,ev ovoav iv AeX(f>oZs rcov QvidSatv, 
rots S OcriptaKois KadtoGiojpL€V7}v tepolg diro 
irarpos Kal jJL7]rpog; ct 8e rcov dXXcov eW/ca Set 
fiaprvpia TrapadeaOat, rd p,ev aTropprjra Kara 
\topav ecopuev, a S' ipupavtos optoGt Odrrrovreg rov 
*Attlv ol Upetg, orav 7TapaKop,it,LOGiv irrl a^cSta? 
to ooj/xa, j8af<:^eta? ouSey a/TroSet. Kal yap v€- 
fiptSag TrepiKadaTTTovrai Kal dvpGovg tf>opovoL, Kal 
F ^Soat9 x/ocuvrat Kai Kwr\oeoiv toGirep oi Karoxpi 
roig Trepl rov Aiovvoov 6pytaop,oLg. 8l6 Kal ravpo- 
jjLopcfxy? Alovvgov 6 ttolovglv dydXpara rroXXol rcov 
*EXAr}vcov at S' ^YiXetcov yvvatKeg Kal rrapaKaXov- 
glv ev^o/iei/at 7roSt fioeitp 1 rov Oeov £X9eiv rrpog 
avrdg. 'Apyetot? ok fiovyevrjg Aiovvoog em/cA^v 
ioTLV dvaKaXovvrat S* avrov vrro oaXrriyycov e£ 
vSarog, ipifSdXXovreg els rrjv dfivooov dpva rco 
TlvXaox<p' Tag 8e odXiriyyag eV Qvpooig airoKpv- 
7ttovglv, cog Sco/cpaV^s iv rocs rrepl 'Ooicov etprjKev. 

1 €olk€v Valckenaer : edrjKev, 

2 <j>voea)s] v<7€ojs Salmasius. 

8 €vp4cre<jL)s] vypevaecos Reiske ; alpeaecos Strijd. 

4 &pxi® a Keramopoullos, based on inscriptions: dpxiKXa. 

5 ravp6fxop<f>a Markland : ravp6p.op<l>ov, 

6 Aiovvoov Xvlander; Aiovvoov. 

7 po€ia>] poeu) p. 299 a. 

a See 366 f, infra. 
h Cf. Diodorus, i. 11. 
84 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 364, 

to have heard Osiris pronounced Hysiris by the 
priests, for he regularly spells the name in this way, 
deriving it, in all probability, from the nature of 
Osiris and the ceremony of finding him.° 

35. That Osiris is identical with Dionysus who could 
more fittingly know than yourself, Clea ? For you are 
at the head of the inspired maidens of Delphi, and 
have been consecrated by your father and mother in 
the holy rites of Osiris. If, however, for the benefit 
of others it is needful to adduce proofs of this identity, 
let us leave undisturbed what may not be told, but the 
public ceremonies which the priests perform in the 
burial of the Apis, when they convey his body on an 
improvised bier, do not in any way come short of a 
Bacchic procession ; for they fasten skins of fawns 
about themselves, and carry Bacchic wands and 
indulge in shoutings and movements exactly as do 
those who are under the spell of the Dionysiac 
ecstasies. 6 For the same reason many of the Greeks 
make statues of Dionysus in the form of a bull c ; and 
the women of Elis invoke him, praying that the god 
may come with the hoof of a bull d ; and the epithet 
applied to Dionysus among the Argives is " Son of the 
Bull." They call him up out of the water by the sound 
of trumpets , c at the same time casting into the depths 
a lamb as an offering to the Keeper of the Gate. The 
trumpets they conceal in Bacchic wands, as Socrates f 
lias stated in his treatise on The Holy Ones. Further- 

c A partial list in Roscher, Lexikon d. gr. u. rom. Mytho- 
logies i. 1149. 

d Cf. Moralia, 299 a, where the invocation is given at 
greater length; also Edmonds, Lyra Graeca, iii. p. 510 
(L.C.T,). 

« Cf. MoraUa, 671 e. 

1 Miiller, Frag. Hint. Graec. iv. p. 498, Socrates, no. 5. 

85 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

o/xoAoyet Se /cat tol TtTayt/ca /cat Nu/creAia 1 rot? 
Aeyo/xeVots 'Ocrt/DtSo? StacrTracrpioi? /cat rat? aya- 
365 f3uL(J€(n /cat 7raAtyyevecrtats' • opoicos Se /cat ra 
7rept ra? ra(/)dg. Alyvimol re yap 'OcrtptSos' 770A- 
Xa%ov OrjKas, wcnrep elpiqrai, Sclkvvovol, /cat 
AeX(f)ol ra rod Aiovvoov Xeiipava Trap* avrois irapa 
to xpr]GrrjpLov a7ro/ceta#at vopi^ovot* /cat 6vovolv 
oi "Ocrtot Bvcrtav aTropp-qrov eV rep lepco rod 'AttoA- 
Aa/vo?, oVay at ©utaSes' iyeipcoort rov Aikvlttjv. 
OTt S' ov piovov rov olvov AtoVuow, aAAa /cat 
TTa<jy)s vypas <f>vo€ojs "BAA^es* 'qyovvrai Kvpiov 
/cat dpxrjyov, dp/cet TLivhapos pidprvs elvai Xeyojv 

hevhpecxyv Se vop,6v 2 Aiovvaos TroXvyadrjs 
av£dvoi, dyvov <f>eyyos orrcopas. 

B Sto /cat Tot? t6v "Qvipiv aejSo/xeVots" <nrayop€V€Tai 
8ev8pov rjpiepov diroXXvvai /cat TTrjyrjv v8aros ip,~ 
<f>pdrr€LV. 

36. Ov puovov Se top' NetAov, dAAa 7raV vypov 
dirXios *Oaipihos aTropporjv /caAoucrt* /cat toV tepcov 
aet Trpo7TOpL7T€vei to vSpetov eVt TttxTj tou 0eo£. 
/cat Opvo/ jSaatAe'a /cat to votiov /cAt/xa tou Koapiov 
ypd<f>ovcri, /cat pLedeppLrjveveTou to Opvov TroTtopLos 
/cat Kvrjois* TrdvTOjv, /cat So/cet y€vvr)TiKcp piopicp 

1 NuKTe'Aia Squire : vuf rcAcia. 

2 vo/xoy Heyne: yo/xov (rponov in 757 f; yo^tov Reiske; 
yovov Wyttenbach). 

3 0/>uo> Wyttenbach : Opvcov or 0pi'a>. 

4 KvrjGLs Ay lander : Kivrjms. 

358 a and 359 a, supra. 

b That is, the inspired maidens, mentioned at the beginning 
of the chapter. 

c Callimachus, Hymn to Demeter (vi.), 127 ; Anth. Pal. 
vi. 165 ; Virgil, Georg. i. 166. 

86 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 364-365 

more, the tales regarding the Titans and the rites 
celebrated by night agree with the accounts of the 
dismemberment of Osiris and his revivification and 
regenesis. Similar agreement is found too in the 
tales about their sepulchres. The Egyptians, as has 
already been stated, a point out tombs of Osiris in 
many places, and the people of Delphi believe that 
the remains of Dionysus rest with them close beside 
the oracle ; and the Holy Ones offer a secret sacrifice 
in the shrine of Apollo whenever the devotees of 
Dionysus b wake the God of the Mystic Basket. To 
show that the Greeks regard Dionysus as the lord and 
master not only of wine, but of the nature of every 
sort of moisture, it is enough that Pindar d be our 
witness, when he says 

May gladsome Dionysus swell the fruit upon the trees, 
The hallowed splendour of harvest-time. 

For this reason all who reverence Osiris are prohibited 
from destroying a cultivated tree or blocking up a 
spring of water. 

36. Not only the Nile, but every form of moisture e 
they call simply the effusion of Osiris ; and in their 
holy rites the water jar in honour of the god heads 
the procession/ And by the picture of a rush they 
represent a king and the southern region of the world,* 7 
and the rush is interpreted to mean the watering and 
fructifying of all things, and in its nature it seems to 
bear some resemblance to the generative member. 

d Frag. 153 (Christ). Plutarch quotes the line also in 
Moralia, 745 a and 757 f. 

• Cf 366 a, 371 b, infra, and 729 b. 

1 Cf. Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis, vi. 31. 1 (p. 758 
Potter). 

* Such a symbol exists on Egyptian monuments. 

87 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(365) ttjv <f>vaiv eot/ceVat. tt)v Se tcov UafivXtayv iopTrjv 
ayovres, oioirep etprjrai, (f>aXXtKrjv ovoav, dyaXfia 
TTporiOevrai /cat 7T€pi<f>epov(JLV, ov to alSolov rpi- 
irXdoiov eoriv dpxr) yap 6 deos, dpx?) ok iraoa rep 
yovipap TToXXaTrXacnd^ei to e£ avrfjs* to 8k 770A- 
C Aa/a? elojdafiev /cat Tpls Xeyeiv, cu? to " Tpio- 
fxaKapzs " /cat 

Seoyzot fiev Tpls tooooi direipoves, 
el fir) vrj Ata Kvplojs c/x^atVcrat to TpiTrXdoiov vtto 
tcov TraXauov rj yap vypd envois dpx^j f<al yeveois 
ovaa TravTOJv e£ avTTJs 1 Ta TtptoTa Tpia aoj/xaTa, yrjv 
aepa /cat irvp, eTTOirjcre. /cat yap 6 TrpooTiOepievos 
to) jJLvOcp Xoyos, oj? tov 'OotpiSos 6 Tv(f)d)V TO 
al8olov eppu/jev els tov TTOTaftov, rj 8' r Icns ovx 
evpev, aXX epufrepes dyaXjxa Oepbevrj /cat /caTa- 
OKevdcraoa Ttfidv /cat c^aXX^cbopeiv eVa^ey, evTavda 
Srj 7T€ptxo)p€L 2 OLhdoKOjv 6Vt to yovip,ov /cat to 

OTTepjiaTLKOV TOV 0€OV 7rpa>TOV 2 koX^V vXt]V TTjV 
VypOTTJTa /Cat St* VypOTTJTOS €U€Kpd6rj TOl$ 7Te<f>VKOOl 
(JL€T€X €LV y€V€G€a)S. 

J) "AAAo? Se Aoyo? koTiv AlyvTTTioJv ', cbs "Kttottis 

f HAtou wv aoeX(f>6s eVoAe'/zet tw Att, tov S' "Otripiv 

6 Zeus* avfJLpiax'QvavTa /cat GvyKaTaoTpei/jdjievov 

avTOj tov iroXepaov 7ratSa Oepcevos AtoVucroy rtpoa- 

K)y6pevoev . /cat tovtov Se tov Xoyov to fxvdcoSes 

k'oTiv aVoSet^at ttjs ire pi* <f>vocv dXrjOetas aTTTO- 

1 auras' Michael: apx^s. 

2 Stj TT€pix(A)pel Madvig : Se irapaxoiptl. 

3 npajTov] 7Tpa)T7]v Reiske. 4 7T€pl Xylander : 7rapa. 

a 3.55 e, supra, 

6 Of. 371 f, infra, Herodotus, ii. 48, and Fpryptian 
monuments. 
88 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 3G5 

Moreover, when they celebrate the festival of the 
Pamylia which, as has been said, a is of a phallic 
nature, they expose and carry about a statue of which 
the male member is triple b ; for the god is the Source, 
and every source, by its fecundity, multiplies what 
proceeds from it ; and for " many times " we have a 
habit of saying " thrice," as, for example, " thrice 
happy," c and 

Bonds, even thrice as many, unnumbered^ 

unless, indeed, the word " triple " is used by the early 
writers in its strict meaning ; for the nature of 
moisture, being the source and origin of all things, 
created out of itself three primal material substances, 
Earth, Air, and Fire. In fact, the tale that is annexed 
to the legend to the effect that Typhori cast the male 
member of Osiris into the river, and Isis could not find 
it, but constructed and shaped a replica of it, and 
ordained that it should be honoured and borne in 
processions, e plainly comes round to this doctrine, 
that the creative and germinal power of the god, at 
the very first, acquired moisture as its substance, and 
through moisture combined with whatever was by 
nature capable of participating in generation. 

There is another tale current among the Egyptians, 
that Apopis, brother of the Sun, made war upon 
Zeus, and that because Osiris espoused Zeus's cause 
and helped him to overthrow his enemy, Zeus adopted 
Osiris as his son and gave him the name of Dionysus. 
It may be demonstrated that the legend contained in 
this tale has some approximation to truth so far as 

c Homer, Od. v. 306, and vi. 154. It is interesting that 
G. H. Palmer translates this " most happy.'' 
d Ibid. viii. 340. 
' Cf. 358 b, supra. 

89 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

jjlcvov. Ata fxev yap AlyvrrTioi to Trvevpia /caAou- 
olv, to TToAefJuov to avxf^pov Kai TTvptobes* tovto 
S' rjXios }JL€V ovk ecrri, rrpos 8' rjXiov e^et tlvcl crvy- 
yiveiav rj S vyporrjs oflevvvovoa ttjv VTrepfioXrjv 
E rrjs ^rjporrjros au^et /cat pcovvvoi tols avadvpuaoeis , 
vcf>* <hv to 7TV€VjJLa Tp€(f)€Tai kclI TeOrjXev . 

37. "Eti Se 1 7W /ctTTo> 2 ^EAA^^es" t€ Kadtepovcri 
rep Alovvgco /cat 7ra/> AlyvTTTiois Xeyerat " ^evo- 
otpts" " oVo/xa£eo~#at, orrjfiaivovTos tov oVo/xaTO?, 
a^ cjyacn, tf>VTov *Oolpioos. * ApLvTtov toIvvv 6 
yeypacfxhs > A9rjvaiow olttolklulp 3 €7naroXfj tivl 
* AXe^apxov 7T€pL€7T€G€v, iv fj Ato? 4 toropetTat /cat 5 
"IcnSo? vlos tov 6 AtoVucjos" V7r' Alyvirritov ovk 
"Oatpt? dAA' Apaa<fyrjs {iv to) aA<£a ypd/xp,aTi) 

F XeyecrOai, $t]Xovvtos to aVSpetoi*' tou oVo/xaTO?. 
ijjL(f)aiv€L Se tovto /cat o 'Epp-ato? ey ttJ rrpajTrj Trepl 
tu)v Alyvrrrliov ofipifjiov yap cbrjot pbeOeppaqvevo- 
pbevov elvai tov "Oatptv. ito hi Myaaeav 8 toj 
'E7ra<^oj TrpoondivTa tov AtoVuow /cat t6^ "Ooipiv 
/cat to> Hdparnv eco /cat 'A^Tt/cAetS^v Xeyovra tt]v 
t 1giv II popLr] 9 ecos ovoav Qvyaripa Aiovvoto ow- 
ot/ceu>* at yap elpt]\ilvai irepl Tas eopTas Kal to,? 
Ovatas oik€i6tt]t€s ivapyeoTtpav tcov fiapTvpajv 
rrjv 7TL07LV k'xovori. 

38. Tcuv t aoTpajv tov oeiptov "IatSos 7 voptt- 
366 ^ovotv, vSpayajyov 6Wa. /cat tov Xiovra Tifitoai 

1 &F.C.B.: re. 

2 ictTTov Squire (kittov ol ?): /arTov op\ 

3 a.7TOtKL(jiv F.C.B. : a-rroiKiav. 

4 7T€pUir€0€Vj ev rj Aios Valckenaer : -nepiixeaeie vrjiBos, 

5 Kal Valckenaer : be Kal. 

6 Mvaoeav Xylander : fivdaav. 

7 "loihos] 'OatpiBos Squire, but cf. 359 d as well as 372 d. 

90 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 365-366 

Nature is concerned ; for the Egyptians apply the 
name " Zeus " to the wind, a and whatever is dry or 
fiery is antagonistic to this. This is not the Sun, but it 
has some kinship with the Sun ; and the moisture, 
by doing away with the excess of dryness, increases 
and strengthens the exhalations by which the wind is 
fostered and made vigorous. 

37. Moreover, the Greeks are wont to consecrate 
the ivy b to Dionysus, and it is said that among the 
Egyptians the name for ivy is chenosiris, the meaning 
of the name being, as they say, " the plant of Osiris." 
Now, Ariston, c the author of Athenian Colonization, 
happened upon a letter of Alexarchus, in which it is 
recorded that Dionysus was the son of Zeus and Isis, 
and is called not Osiris, but Arsaphes, spelled with an 
" a," the name denoting virility. Hermaeus, rf too, 
makes this statement in the first volume of his book 
The Egyptians ; for he says that Osiris, properly inter- 
preted, means " sturdy." I leave out of account 
Mnaseas's 6 annexation of Dionysus, Osiris, andSerapis 
to Epaphus, as well as Anticleides^ statement that 
Isis was the daughter of Prometheus 9 and was wedded 
to Dionysus. 71 The fact is that the peculiarities 
already mentioned regarding the festival and sacri- 
fices carry a conviction more manifest than any 
testimony of authorities. 

38. Of the stars the Egyptians think that the Dog- 
star is the star of Isis,* because it is the bringer of 
water. fc They also hold the Lion in honour, and they 

a Cf. Diodorus, i. 12. 2. h Diodorus, i. 17. 4. 

c Miiller, Frag. Hist. Graec. iii. p. 324. 

d Ibid. iv. p. 427. ' e Ibid. iii. p. 155. 

' Cf. Jacoby, Frag. Gr. Hist. 140, no. 13. 

9 Cf. 352 a, supra. h Cf. Herodotus, ii. 156. 

* Cf. 359 d, supra, and 376 a, infra. fc In the Nile. 

91 



PLUTARCH'S MORALTA 

(366) /cat "^dojiaai Xzovtziols to\ tcov Uptuv Oupojfxara 
KoayiovuLV, on TrXrjpLfjLvpeL NelAos 

TjeXlov ra 7rpa>ra awep^o/xeVoto X£ovti. 

'£2? Se NetAoy 'CWotSos* aTropporjv , ovtojs 'TaiSo? 
crcbjxa yrjv kxovoi} /cat vopbi^ovatv , ov wdaav, aXX 
tjS o NetAo? eVi/JatVet (J7T€pixaivuyv /cat fxeiyvvfievog' 
e'/c Se ttJs* (jwovvlcls ravTV)s ytvvtooi, tov T Llpov. 
earn S' *T2/)0S- ^ TTaOra aoo^ovoa /cat rpe(j>ovoa tov 
TrepU^ovros wpa /cat Kpdatg depos, ov iv rots eAeat 
rot? 7repl Hovtov vtto Atjtovs Tpa<f>fjvaL Xiyovoiv 
r) yap vSarojSrjs /cat Sidfipoxos yrj /xaAtara rots' 
B ofievvovaas /cat ^aAcocras' ttjv ^poTTjra /cat tov 
avy^iov dvaOvpidaets nOrfvelrai. 

N4cf)0vv Se KaXovai ttjs yrjs ra eVj^ara /cat 
napopeta 2 /cat ipavovTa ifjs OaXaTTrjs' Sio /cat 
TeAeyrT^ 3 eTTOVOjxdt.ovoL ttjv NecfrOvv /cat Tv<f>U)l'L 
Se aiwot/ceti/ Xeyovauv. otclv S' virepfiaXtov /cat 
TrAco^aaa? o NetAo? eVe'/ceu>a 7rXr}oido7] toZs 
ea^areuouat, tovto fxel^tv *0cripi8os irpos NecfrQvi' 
kolXovolv, vtto tcov dvaftXaciTavovTOjv <J)vtlov e'Aey- 
vofi€vrjv wv /cat to fieXtXajTov iaTLV, ov (f>7]ai jjlvOos 
aTToppvivTOs /cat dnoXeicpOevTos aladrjOiv yeveodai 
YvcfycovL tt)s Trepl tov ydpiov dSi/cta?. 60 ev r) fiiv 

G r IoLS €T€K€ yVY\VlO)S TOV T £lpOV, 7] Se Necf)9vS GKOTIOV 

tov "Avovfiw. iv fievToc tolls StaSo^ats" tcov /?aat- 

1 exovoi] Xiyovoi Wyttenbach. 

2 7rap6p€ta I latzidakis : irapopia. 

3 TtXevr-qv Squire (cf. 355 f) : TskevTai-qv. 

° C/. Moralia, 670 c ; Hora polio, Hieroglyphiea % i. 21. 
6 Aratus, Phaenomena, 151. The Dog-star rises at about 
the same time. 

92 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 366 

adorn the doorways of their shrines with gaping lions' 
heads, because the Nile overflows 

When for the first time the Sun comes into conjunction 
with Leo. 1 ' 

As they regard the Nile as the effusion of Osiris, c so 
they hold and believe the earth to be the body of Isis, 
not all of it, but so much of it as the Nile covers, 
fertilizing it and uniting with it. d From this union 
they make Horus to be born. The all-conserving and 
fostering Hora, that is the seasonable tempering of 
the surrounding air, is Horus, who they say w T as 
brought up by Leto in the marshes round about 
Buto e ; for the watery and saturated land best 
nurtures those exhalations which quench and abate 
aridity and dryness. 

The outmost parts of the land beside the mountains 
and bordering on the sea the Egyptians call Nephthys. 
This is why they give to Nephthys the name of 
" Finality," f and say that she is the wife of Typhon. 
Whenever, then, the Nile overflows and with abound- 
ing waters spreads far away to those who dwell in the 
outermost regions, they call this the union of Osiris 
with Nephthys, 17 which is proved by the upspringing 
of the plants. Among these is the melilotus, 71 by the 
wilting and failing of which, as the story goes, Typhon 
gained knowledge of the wrong done to his bed. So 
Isis gave birth to Horus in lawful wedlock, but 
Nephthys bore Anubis clandestinely. However, in 
the chronological lists of the kings they record that 

c Cf. the note on 365 b, supra. 

d Cf. 363 d, supra. e Cf. 357 f, supra. 

1 Cf 355 f, supra, and 375 b, infra. 

ff Cf. the note on 356 e, supra. 

h Cf. 356 F, supra. 

93 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(366) Xeojv dvaypd(j>ovai ttjv Ne'<f>0vv Tv<f>Lovi ymxa[ievr]V 
7rpcuT7]i> yeveaOat OTelpav el 8e tovto firj irepl 
yvvaiKos aAAa. irepl ttjs deov Xeyovotv, alvirTovTai 
to TravTeX&s 1 ttjs yrjs dyovov Kal aKapnov vtto 
oTepporrjTos. 

3Q. C H 8e Tv<f)covos €7Tt^ovXrj Kal tv pawls OLVX' 
fjiov hvvapag rjv eTTLKpaTTjoavTOs Kal 8ta(j>oprjGavTOS 
ttjv T€ yevvcooav vypoTrjTa tov NetAov /cat av^ovaav. 
rj 8e uvvepyos avTov fiacnXls AIQlottojv alvirrerat 
mvoas votlovs ££ AldtoTTias* otov yap aVTOLl TCOV 

€T7]Ol(X)V eTTLKpaTTjOOJOl TCt Ve^Tj TTpOS TTJV AWiOTTtaV 

D eXavvovTOJV , kolI KioXvacoat tovs tov NeiXov av£ov- 
tols ofifipovs KaT ap pay fjv at, KaTeya>v 6 Tvcfydtv eVt- 
(f>Xeyet Kal tot€ KpaTrjoas TravTarraoi tov NetAoy 
els evavTiov 2 vif aadeveias avoTaXevTa /cat pvevTa 
kolXov Kal Taireivov i^eojoev els ttjv OdXaTTOv. rj 
yap XeyofJLevrj Ka0eip£ts els rrjv aopov *0crlpi8os 
ov8ev eotKev aAA' rj Kpvipw voaTos Kal d^avLo/Jiov 
alvLTTeoOai- St6 firjvos 'A0vp d<f>avia0rjvat, tov 
"Qoipw Xeyovow, ot€ tcov eTt)oloyv aTroXeiTrovTOJv 
TTavTomao-iv 6 fxev NecXos vttovoot€l, yvfivovTai 8 
rj xwpa, firjKVvofxevrjs 8e ttjs vvktos, av£eTai to 

E o kotos, rj he tov (f>a)Tos /xapatVerat /cat /c/>aretrat 
ovvafjus, ol S' 3 lepets aAAa re optocrt OKvdpamd /cat 
jSow Sidxpvoov t/xarta) fxeXavi fivoarivto TrepifidXXov- 
res errl irevQei ttjs 6eov oeiKvvovai (fiovv yap "IcrtSos 

1 7ra^rcAa>s] TravreXks in all mss. but one. 

2 €vclvtiov\ eavrov Bentley. 

3 oi S' Wyttenbach : ol. 

a Cf. 356 b, supra. 
b Cf. Moralia, 898 a, and Diodorus, i. 39. 

94 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 366 

Nephthys, after her marriage to Typhon, was at first 
barren. If they say this, not about a woman, but 
about the goddess, they must mean by it the utter 
barrenness and unproduetivity of the earth resulting 
from a hard-baked soil. 

39. The insidious scheming and usurpation of 
Typhon, then, is the power of drought, which gains 
control and dissipates the moisture which is the source 
of the Nile and of its rising ; and his coadjutor, the 
Queen of the Ethiopians, signifies allegorically the 
south winds from Ethiopia ; for whenever these gain 
the upper hand over the northerly or Etesian winds b 
which drive the clouds towards Ethiopia, and when 
they prevent the falling of the rains which cause the 
rising of the Nile, then Typhon, being in possession, 
blazes with scorching heat ; and having gained com- 
plete mastery, he forces the Nile in retreat to draw 
back its waters for weakness, and, flowing at the 
bottom of its almost empty channel, to proceed to the 
sea. The story told of the shutting up of Osiris in the 
chest seems to mean nothing else than the vanishing 
and disappearance of water. Consequently they say 
that the disappearance of Osiris occurred in the month 
of Athyr, c at the time when, owing to the complete 
cessation of the Etesian winds, the Nile recedes to its 
low level and the land becomes denuded. As the nights 
grow longer, the darkness increases, and the potency 
of the light is abated and subdued. Then among the 
gloomy rites which the priests perform, they shroud 
the gilded image of a cow with a black linen vestment, 
and display her as a sign of mourning for the goddess, 
inasmuch as they regard both the cow and the earth d 

€ The month of November. Cf. 356 c, supra. 
4 Cf. 366 a supra. 

95 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

eiKova Kal 1 yrjv vopi^ovaiv) iirl rirrapas rjpiepas 
a7TO rrjs ipSofirjs errl Se'/ca e£rjs. Kal yap rd rrevdov- 
fxeva rerrapa, rrpcorov /X€> o NeiAos" aTToXeirrajv Kal 
vnovoorcov , Sevrepov Se ra jSopeta rrvevpLara Kara- 
crf$€vvv/jL€va KopaSfj rcov vorltov IrtiKparovvrcov , 
rptrov 8e to rrjv rjpdpav iXdrrova yCyveaOat rrjs 
vvktos, cm rrdoi S' 2 r) rrjs yrjs arroyvpLvajatg a/xa 
rfj rcov (f>VTtbv if)iXorj]Ti nrjviKavra (f)vXXoppoovvru)v . 
F rfj S' evdrrj irrl 8eKa vvktos em OdXarrav Karlaoi? 
Kal rrjv Updv Ktarrjv ol aroXtaral Kal ol lepels 

€K<f)€pOVOl XpVVOVV £vTO$ €)(OVOaV KlfitOTlOV , €19 O 

rroripLOV Xafiovres voaros iyx^ovat, Kal ylyvarai 
Kpavyrj rcov rrapovrcov cos €vprjp,evov rov 'CWoiSos" 
elra yrjv 41 Kaprnpiov <f>vptoai rep voari, Kal oupLfiei- 
£avres dpcopara Kal dvpudpara rcov rroXvreXtov 
dvaTrXdrrouai fJLrjvoeiSes dyaXpdriov Kal rovro 
aroXi^ovat Kal Koopovoiv, ipL(f>aivovT€s ore yrjs 
ovaiav Kal voaros rovs Oeovs rovrovs vopLL^ovcn. 
40. Trjs 8' "loiSos TrdXiv dvaXapLfSavovorjs rov 
367 "Ovipiv Kal av£avovorjs rov T Q.pov, dvadufitdcreGL 
Kal opLixXats Kal ve<f>€Gi pcovvvpuevov , iKparrjOi] pLtv, 
ovk dvrjpeOrj 8' 6 Tvficbv. ov yap etacrev r) Kvpla 
rrjs yrjs 0€os dvaipeSrjvat TravrdiraoL rr]V avriKti- 
fievrjv rfj vyporrjri <f>vtnv, dAA* e^aAaae Kal avrJKe 
fiovXopLevrj 8tapi€V€tv rrjv Kpatnv 5 ' ov yap r)v KoapLOv* 
etrat reXeiov €kXltt6vtos 7 Kal d<j>avia8evros rov 
rrvpcoSovs. et 8e ravra pur) eXeyero* irap* avrols, 

1 Kal] Kara H. Richards ; but c/. " the earth " both before 
(v X^P -) anQl after (rijs yrjs) ! 

2 Tract 8* Bernardakis : ndaiv. 3 Karlaot, Baxter : Karci.cn,. 
4 y^vXylander: ttjv. 5 Kpaoiv Xylander : Kploiv. 

6 i<6(7fj.ov] rov Koofiov Mnrkland. 

7 (ek)utt6i'tos Mark land : ckXciitovtos. 

96 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 366-367 

as the image of Isis ; and this is kept up for four days 
consecutively, beginning with the seventeenth of the 
month. The things mourned for are four in number : 
first, the departure and recession of the Nile ; second, 
the complete extinction of the north winds, as the 
south winds gain the upper hand ; third, the day's 
growing shorter than the night ; and, to crown all, 
the denudation of the earth together with the defolia- 
tion of the trees and shrubs at this time. On the 
nineteenth day they go down to the sea at night- 
time ; and the keepers of the robes and the priests 
bring forth the sacred chest containing a small golden 
coffer, into which they pour some potable water 
which they have taken up, and a great shout arises 
from the company for joy that Osiris is found. Then 
they knead some fertile soil with the water and mix 
in spices and incense of a very costly sort, and fashion 
therefrom a crescent-shaped figure, which they clothe 
and adorn, thus indicating that they regard these 
gods as the substance of Earth and Water. 

40. When Isis recovered Osiris and was watching 
Horus grow up a as he was being made strong by the 
exhalations and mists and clouds, Typhon was van- 
quished but not annihilated b ; for the goddess who 
holds sway over the Earth would not permit the 
complete annihilation of the nature opposed to moist- 
ure, but relaxed and moderated it, being desirous 
that its tempering potency should persist, because it 
was not possible for a complete world to exist, if the 
fiery element left it and disappeared. Even if this 
story were not current among them, one would hardly 

° Cf. 357 c-f, siqrra. b Cf. 358 n, supra, 

8 cXcycro F.C.B. (for a similar form of condition cf. Soph. 
Ajax % 962) : Xeyerai. 

97 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(367) etKorays ouS' €K€tvov av tls aTToppufrtLe tov Xoyov, 
ws Tvcfxhv [JL€V iKpdrei rrdXat rrjs 'OcrtptSo? fJLoipas' 
OdXarra yap rjv rj AtyvnTOS* 816 7roXXd p,ev ev tois 
B fJierdXAoLS Kal tols opeaiv evptGKerai p>£XP l v ^ v 
KoyxvXta ex €iv ' 7r ^ (jaL §£ irrjyal kcu cfypeara irdvra 
ttoXXCjv virapxovTiov dXpuvpov vScop Kal irtKpov 
exovoiVy ws av VTroXeipLpiaTos 1 rrjs TrdXai OaXaTTrjs 
ia>Xov 2 evravdol owe ppvrj kotos. 

'0 8* T Q.pos XP 0VC 9 T °v Tv(f>a>vos iTT€Kpdrt)Ge , 
rovreartv euKaipias opbfipiaiv yevofjievrjs, 6 NeiXos 
i£a>oas z rrjv ddXarrav dvecfrrjve to 7re8 lov Kal 
ave'nXrjpoja€ rat? TTpovx c * )G€aiv ' o S^ fiapTvpovcrav 
e^et ttjv aXardrjcriv opuypiev yap €Tt vvv lirifyipovTi 
C Ttp TTOTapLCp veav IXvv Kal TrpodyovTi* ttjv yrjv /cara 

fUKpOV VTTOXCOpOVV OTTLGOJ TO TTtXayOS , Kal TTJV 

OdXaTTav vi/jos t&v iv f3d0€i XafifiavovTayv Sia ra? 
TTpoaxcoaetg arroppeovaav ttjv 8e Qdpov, rjv "Ofirjpos 
j]8eL 8p6jxov rjfjiepas arrexovaav AlyvirTov , vvv fjuepos 
ovaav avTrjs, ovk avTrjv dva8pafxovaav ov8e rrpocr- 
avaflaaav, dXXd ttjs fj,€Ta£i> OaXaTTrjs avarrXdrTOVTi 
ra> noTa/Aco Kal Tp€<f>ovTi ttjv rjireipov dvaoTaXecarjs . 
AAAa TavTa fiev Sfioia tols vtto twv Hto)lkcl>v 
OeoXoyovfievois £cfti' Kal yap €K€lvol to p,ev yovcfjuov 
TTvevfia Kal Tpocfrtfiov Acovvcrov elvai Xeyovoi, to 
ttXtjktlkov 8e Kal 8iacp€TiKov 'Hpa/cAea, to Se 
8€Ktikov "AfifJLOJva, ^7]jjLrjTpa 5 8e /cat Koprjv to 8ia 

1 vnoXelfifjuaTOS F.C.B. : vnoXcLfifia, 

2 dcoXov F.C.B. : ecoXov. 

8 e£a>aas Wyttenbach : l^emuas. 

* irpodyovTi Bernardakis : Trpoaayayovri or rrpoayayo vtl. 

5 Ai]fi7]Tpa Bernardakis: hrjp.-r}Tpav. 

a Cf. Herodotus, ii. 5 ; Diodorus, iii. 3, and i. 39. 11. 

98 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 367 

be justified in rejecting that other account, to the 
effect that Typhon, many ages ago, held sway over 
Osiris s domain ; for Egypt used to be all a sea, a and, 
for that reason, even to-day it is found to have shells 
in its mines and mountains. b Moreover, all the 
springs and wells, of which there are many, have a 
saline and brackish water, as if some stale dregs of 
the ancient sea had collected there. 

But, in time, Horus overpowered Typhon ; that is 
to say, there came on a timely abundance of rain, and 
the Nile forced out the sea and revealed the fertile 
land, which it filled out with its alluvial deposits. This 
has support in the testimony of our own observation ; 
for we see, even to-day, as the river brings down new 
silt and advances the land, that the deep waters 
gradually recede and, as the bottom gains in height 
by reason of the alluvial deposits, the water of the 
sea runs off from these. We also note that Pharos, 
which Homer c knew as distant a day's sail from 
Egypt, is now a part of it ; not that the island has 
extended its area by rising, or has come nearer to the 
land, but the sea that separated them was obliged to 
retire before the river, as the river reshaped the land 
and made it to increase. 

The fact is that all this is somewhat like the doc- 
trines promulgated by the Stoics d about the gods ; 
for they say that the creative and fostering spirit is 
Dionysus, the truculent and destructive is Heracles, 
the receptive is Ammon, that which pervades the 
Earth and its products is Demeter and the Daughter, 

6 C/. Herodotus, ii. 12. 

c Od. iv. 356. C/. also Strabo, xii. 2. 4 (p. 536), and 
xvii. 1. 6 (p. 791). 

d Cf. von Arnim, Stoicorum Veterum Fragmenta, ii. 
1093 (p. 319). 

99 



PLUTARCH'S MORALTA 

{361) rfjs yrjs Kal tcov Kapncov Bltjkov, YloaeiScova Se to 
Sta ttjs 8aXdrrr]£. (41.) 01 Se rotcrSe rot? <f>voiKols 
Kal tcov air* doTpoXoyias jjLadrjfjbariKCov 1 erta /z€t- 

D yvvvres Tvcftcova fiev oiovrat tov TjXtaKOV Koofiov, 
"Ootptv 8e tov oeXrjvLaKov Xeyeodac. ttjv fxkv yap 
areXrjvrjv yoviiiov to tptos koX vypoiroiov exovaav 
evfjL€vrj kcli y ovals £,ojojv Kal tpVTtov elvat jSAa- 
orrjoeaL' rov 8' 7)Xiov d/cparoj Trvpl Kal GKXrjpt?) 
KaraddXTTetv 2 re /cat Karavaivetv ra <f>v6ji€va /cat 
reOrjXora, /cat to 7toXv jxipog ttjs yrjs iravTamaaiv 
V7TO tfiXoyjjiov TToitiv aoLKTjTov /cat KaTaKpaT€iv ttoX- 
Xaxov /cat ttjs oeXrjvrjs. Sto tov Tvcf>a>va Hr)9 del 3 
PdyvTTTioi KaXovocv, oirep earl KaTa8vvaoT€vov Tj 

E KaTafica^ofjievov . /cat Tip fiev rjXicp tov 'Hoa/cAca 

flvdoXoyOVOLV iviSpVfJLeVOV OVjJL7T€pL7ToX€tV, Tjj 8e 

oeXrjvr) tov *Epp,fjv. Xoyov yap k'pyois eoiKe Kal 
TeXelas* aocptas ra ttjs aeXrjvr]s f tcl 8' rjXtov TrXrjy atg 
V7TO fSLas /cat pcofxrjs 7T£oatvo/xeVatS'. 6 ol 8e Srau/cot 
tov fiev tJXlov e/c OaXaTTrjs aVdVreaflat Kal Tpecfie- 
adai tpatJL, tjj 8e aeXrjvrj tcl Kprjvala Kal Xipuvala 
vdfxaTa yXvKelav avail epuTeiv Kal fxaXaKr^v dva- 
BvLilaaiv. 

42. 'E/JSo^fl inl Se/ca ttjv 'Ootpibos ycveodat, 
TeXeVTTjV AlyviTTLot flvdoXoyOVOLV, iv fj LldXlCTTa 
yiyvtTai TeXciovpiivrf KaTaSrjXos rj rravo4Xi]vos. Sto 

1 fiadTjfiaTiKajv] fjLaOrjfjLOLTcov Markland. 
2 Kal axXrjpcp KaradaXneiP Madvig": K€KXr^po)Kora BoXttciv. 
3 dd del. Squire. 4 reAcias F.C.B. : 7T€/h. 

5 Trcpaivofidvais Baxter : TTepaivoficvris. 
6 TcXctovfidvr] F.C.B. ; /zctou/xcVty Wyttenbach : nXripovpLevrj. 

a Cf Cicero, Be Natura Deorum, i. 15 (40), ii. 28 (71); 
and Diogenes Laertius, vii. 147. 

6 Cf 658 b, infra, c Cf 371 b and 376 a, infra. 

100 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 367 

and that which pervades the Sea is Poseidon. a 
(41.) But the Egyptians, by combining- with these 
physical explanations some of the scientific results 
derived from astronomy, think that by Typhon is 
meant the solar world, and by Osiris the lunar world ; 
they reason that the moon, because it has a light that 
is generative and productive of moisture, 6 is kindly 
tow r ards the young of animals and the burgeoning 
plants, whereas the sun, by its untempered and piti- 
less heat, makes all growing and flourishing vegeta- 
tion hot and parched, and, through its blazing light, 
renders a large part of the earth uninhabitable, and 
in many a region overpowers the moon. For this 
reason the Egyptians regularly call Typhon " Seth," c 
which, being interpreted, means " overmastering and 
compelling." They have a legend that Heracles, 
making his dwelling in the sun, is a companion for it 
in its revolutions, as is the case also with Hermes and 
the moon. In fact, the actions of the moon are like 
actions of reason and perfect wisdom, whereas those 
of the sun are like beatings administered through 
violence and brute strength. The Stoics d assert that 
the sun is kindled and fed from the sea, but that for 
the moon the moving waters from the springs and 
lakes send up a sweet and mild exhalation. 

42. The Egyptians have a legend that the end of 
Osiris s life came on the seventeenth of the month, on 
which day it is quite evident to the eye that the 
period of the full moon is over. e Because of this the 

d Von Arnim, Stoicorum Veterum Fragment a 9 ii. 663. 
Cf. also Diogenes Laertius, vii. 145; and Porphyry, De Antro 
Nympharum, 1 1 . 

* Fourteen days, or one half of a lunar month, before the 
evrj k<ll vea, if the lunar month could ever be made to square 
with any system of chronology ! 

101 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

F /cat tt)v 77/xepav ravrrjv dvTi<f>pai;iv oi UvOayopeioi 
kclAovctl, /cat 6'Aa>? tov dptdpov tovtov a^oaiowrai. 
rod yap e/c/cat'Se/ca rerpaytovov /cat tov d/cra>/cat- 
Se/ca erepojjLrjKovs, of? povois dpi9fia>v €ttitt€&ojv 
crv/jLfiefirjKe tcls 7T€pu±€Tpovs toa? %X eLV T0 ^ TTtpi- 
€-)(ojjl€vois V7T avrcjv ^ajptots", ueao? 6 twv e7rra/cat- 
Se/ca 7rap€{j,TriTrTQ)v avrt^parrei /cat Sta^evyvvotv 
air dXXijXojv, /cat ' Statpet * rov 2 inoySoov Xoyov ety 
dvioa hiaarrjixara Tepcvopevos. 

Etcov 8' dpiOpov oi pev jStcocrat tov "Ooipiv oi 8e 
368 ftaaiAevcrai Xeyovotv oktoj /cat et/coov roaavra yap 
eart (fxLra rrjg oeX-qv-qs /cat Toaairrat? rjpepais tov 
avrfjs kvkXov i^eXirrei. to oe £vXov iv rat? Aeyo- 
/zeVat? 'OatptSo? ratals TtpvovTts /caraa/ceua^ouort 
XapvaKGL prjvoetSrj Sta to t^v oeAijvqv, oVar ra) 
T^Ata) TrXrjoid£,r), prjvoeiSrj ytyvopevrjv aTTOKpvTXTe- 
aOai. tov 8' els &€KaT€TTapa p<€pr} tov 'OcrtptSo? 
8taa7rao'/^o^ alvirrovrai rrpos rds rjpepas €V at? 
(f)8lvei perd TravoeXrjvov a^pt vovp,rjvias to doTpov. 
B r)p>epav Se er $ <f>aiv€Tat TrpcoTov it<(f)vyovoa t<x? 
az3ya? /cat 7rapeX6ovoa rov tJXlov " areXes dyaOov " 
rrpooayopevovoiv . o yap "Ocrtpt? dya0o7rotd?, /cat 
Tovvopa TToXXd (f>pd£,€(,, oi>x rJKiora Se Kpdros 
ivepyovv /cat dyaOorroLov 8 Xeyovoi. to 8* €T€pov 
6vop,a tov 6eov tov u Op(f>w z evepyeTrjv 6 c Epp,atd? 
^ot SrjXovv €ppr)V€vop,€Vov. 

43. OtovTat Se 7rpd? Ta <f>a>Ta ttjs oeXrjvrjs <=x eLV 
Tivd Xoyov tov NetXov ra? dvafidcreis. r) piev yap 

1 8«u/)€t] StarT/pei Xy lander. 

2 roy] Kara tov Wyttenbach. 
3 "Oi4iv] 'Ovovfav (?) Parthey. 

102 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 367-368 

Pythagoreans call this day " the Barrier/' and utterly 
abominate this number. For the number seventeen, 
coming in between the square sixteen and the oblong 
rectangle eighteen, which, as it happens, are the only 
plane figures that have their perimeters equal to their 
areas , a bars them off from each other and disjoins 
them, and breaks up the ratio of eight to eight and an 
eighth b by its division into unequal intervals. 

Some say that the years of Osiris 's life, others that 
the years of his reign, were twenty-eight c ; for that is 
the number of the moon's illuminations, and in that 
number of days does she complete her cycle. The 
wood which they cut on the occasions called the 
" burials of Osiris " they fashion into a crescent-shaped 
coffer because of the fact that the moon, when it 
comes near the sun, becomes crescent-shaped and 
disappears from our sight. The dismemberment of 
Osiris into fourteen parts they refer allegorically to 
the days of the waning of that satellite from the time 
of the full moon to the new moon. And the day on 
which she becomes visible after escaping the solar rays 
and passing by the sun they style " Incomplete Good *' ; 
for Osiris is beneficent, and his name means many 
things, but, not least of all, an active and beneficent 
power, as they put it. The other name of the god, 
Omphis, Hermaeus says means " benefactor " when 
interpreted. 

43. They think that the risings of the Nile have 
some relation to the illuminations of the moon ; for 

a That is: 4x4 = 16 and 4 + 4 + 4 + 4 = 16: so also 
3x6 = 18 and 3 + 6 + 3 + 6 = 18. 

6 That is, J of a number added to itself: thus 16+V 6 =18. 
Eighteen, therefore, bears the epogdoon relation to sixteen, 
which is broken up by the intervention of seventeen, an 
odd number. c Cf. 358 a, supra. 

103 



PLUTARCH'S MOSALIA 

(368) \xeyioTt] irepi ttjv 'EAecbavTivrjv oktoj ylyverai /cat 
eiKoai Trrjx €<x)V > ° aa $^™ /cat fierpa rcov ififx-qvcDV 

7T€pl68tQV €KOLOT7)S eOTIV 7) 8e 7T€pl MeVOTJTa /Cat 

Sou* Ppaxvrdrr] irr\x^ ix}V cf 1 irpog rrjv St^oro/zoy rj 

he fJL€<J7] 7T€pl MeLu/>tV, OTO.V fj St/Cata, 8€K(LT€(J(jdpC0V 
7ttJx€ojv TTpog rrjv TTaVOeArjVOV. 

Toy S' ^Attiv 2 et/cdra fi€v 'OaipcSos ejjafjvxoi' 
eli'ai, yeveodai he 6Vai' (/><?)$ epeiarj yovi\iov diro rfjs 
oeArjvTjs /cat KaOdtprjrai fioos 6pya)onr]s. St6 /cat rot? 
rrjs ocArjvrjs ax^LiciaLV eoiKe 7roAAa rov "AttiSos, 
TrepLLieAatvopievov ra AaLnrpa rot? OKiepols. en he 3 
rjj vovp/qvia rov Oa/xcya/0 puqvos eoprr^v dyovuiv, 
eiifiaaiv 'Oalpihos els tt]v aeArjvrjv ovoLid^ovres , 
eapos dpxty ovaav. ovrco rrjv 'Oalpihos hvvayt.iv 
ev rfj aeArjvrj riOevreg* ttjv r Iaiv avrcp yeveoiv ovaav 
ovveivai Xeyovat. hid /cat urjrepa ttjv aeXrjvrjv rov 
koojxov koXovgl /cat <f)voiv k'xeiv dpoevoOrjXvv o'tovrai 
7rAr)povfJL€V7]v v<f> y 'HXiov /cat Kv'ioKO[ievrjv y avrr)v he 
D rrdXcv els rov depa rrpoieiLevrjv yevvqriKas dpxas /cat 
Karaarreipovaav' ov yap del ttjv (f)9opdv eiriKparelv 
rrjv rv<f)a)veiov , TroAAa/cts 1 oe KparovLievrjv vtto rrjs 
yeveaeuis /cat avvheoLievrjv avOis avaXveodaf /cat 
Stafidxecrdai 77/00? rov T Q.pov. eon 8' ovros 6 nepi- 
yetos koglios ovre <f>9opas aTraXXarroiievos rravrd- 
rxaaiv ovre yeveaeajs. 

1 cf] €77Ta Squire. 2 *Amv] Baxter would add 6acnv. 

3 cti 8c Baxter : on. 4 nBivres Petavius : rldcvTau 

5 dvaXveaOai Wytte-nbach : avahveadai. 

a Besides the famous ancient Nilometer at Elephantine, 
others have been found at Philae, Edfu, and Esna. 

b Cf. 359 b and 362 c, supra. 

c Cf. Moralia % 718 b, and Aelian, De Natura Animalium, 
xi. 10. 
104 



ISIS AND OSIRIS. 368 

the greatest rising,* in the neighbourhood of Elephan- 
tine, is twenty-eight cubits, which is the number of its 
illuminations that form the measure of each of its 
monthly cycles ; the rising in the neighbourhood of 
Mendes and Xois, which is the least, is six cubits, 
corresponding to the first quarter. The mean rising, 
in the neighbourhood of Memphis, when it is normal, 
is fourteen cubits, corresponding to the full moon. 

The Apis, they say, is the animate image of Osiris, 6 
and he comes into being when a fructifying light 
thrusts forth from the moon and falls upon a cow in her 
breeding-season. 6 Wherefore there are many things 
in the Apis that resemble features of the moon, his 
bright parts being darkened by the shadowy. More- 
over, at the time of the new moon in the month of 
Phamenoth they celebrate a festival to which they 
give the name of " Osiris 's coming to the Moon," and 
this marks the beginning of the spring. Thus they 
make the power of Osiris to be fixed in the Moon, and 
say that Isis, since she is generation, is associated 
with him. For this reason they also call the Moon the 
mother of the world, and they think that she has a 
nature both male and female, as she is receptive and 
made pregnant by the Sun, but she herself in turn emits 
and disseminates into the air generative principles. 
For, as they believe, the destructive activity of 
Typhon does not always prevail, but oftentimes is 
overpowered by such generation and put in bonds, and 
then at a later time is again released and contends 
against Horus, d who is the terrestrial universe ; and 
this is never completely exempt either from dis- 
solution or from generation. 

d Cf. 358 J), sttpra. 

105 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(368) 44. Evlol Se Kal tcov €kX€itttlkcov aiviyixa ttol- 
ovvtoli tov fivdov. eVAei7rei fA€V yap rj creXrjvr) nav- 
oeXrjvos ivavTiav tov tjAlov ardaiv k'xovTos Trpos 
avrrjv els ttjv gklclv ijjLTriTTTOvaa rrjs yfjs, cjamep 
<j>aol tov "Ocnpiv els ttjv oopov. avrrj Se TrdXiv 

E aiTOKpV7TT€L Kal d(f>aVl^€L Tdls TptaKaCFLV, OV fJLTJV 

avaipelrai iravTaTraot tov rjXiov, cocmep ovhe tov 
Tv(f>a)va rj *Iol$. > 

Tevvojor)s ttjs Necj)dvos tov "Avovfiiv, *Iols vtto- 
fSdXXeTcu. Ne<f>9vs yap eoTi to vtto yijv Kal agaves, 
lots Se to vuep ttjv yrjv Kal (f>avepov. 6 Se tovtojv 1 
V7roifjava)v Kal KaXovpuevos opi^ajv kvkXos, Ittlkoivos 
a)v afJL<f)oiv, "Avovfiis KeKXrjTai Kal kvvI to elSos 
direiKd^eTai' Kal ydp 6 kvwv ^p^rat ttj otpet vvktos 
T€ Kal rjfiepas opLOLOJS. Kal TavTiqv eyeiv SoKel Trap 
AlyviTTLOis ttjv ovvapuv 6 "Avovfiis, olav rj 'E/ccltt^ 
Trap* "EXXrjoi, x®o vl °S ^ v opiov Kal 6XvpL7TLos. 
F eviois Se 8oK€i KpoVos 6 "Avovfiis elvat* Sio TrdvTa 
tIktojv i£ eavTOV Kal kvcjv iv eavTco ttjv tov kvvos 
€7tlkX7)olv €OX €V - ^cftl 2 S' ovv tois oefio/jbevois TOV 
"Avovfiiv aTropprjTov tc Kal irdXai p,ev tgls fieytOTas 
ev AlyvTTTip rt/xas 1 6 kvo>v eoxev eirel Se Ka^voov 
tov ^Attiv aveXovTos Kal piipavTos ouSeV TrpoorjXdev 
ovh eyevoaTO tov owfiaTos aAA' fj jiovos 6 kvojv, 
dnojXeoe to rrptoTOs elvat Kal jLtaAtara TLfiaodat, tojv 
eTepojv £,CpO)V. 

1 tovtoov Bentley : tovtco. 
2 ton Reiske : In. 

■ Cf. 356 e, supra, b Cf. 375 e, infra. 

e Plutarch would connect kvwv, " dog," with the participle 
of Kua>, " be pregnant." If the animal were a bear, we might 
say, " bears all things . . . the appellation of Bear," which 
would be a very close parallel. 

106 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 368 

44. There are some who would make the legend an 
allegorical reference to matters touching eclipses ; for 
the Moon suffers eclipse only when she is full, with 
the Sun directly opposite to her, and she falls into the 
shadow of the Earth, as they say Osiris fell into his 
coffin. Then again, the Moon herself obscures the 
Sun and causes solar eclipses, always on the thirtieth 
of the month ; however, she does not completely 
annihilate the Sun, and likewise Isis did not annihilate 
Typhon. 

When Nephthys gave birth to Anubis, Isis treated 
the child as if it were her own a ; for Nephthys is 
that which is beneath the Earth and invisible, Isis 
that which is above the earth and visible ; and the 
circle which touches these, called the horizon, being 
common to both, b has received the name Anubis, and 
is represented in form like a dog ; for the dog can see 
with his eyes both by night and by day alike. And 
among the Egyptians Anubis is thought to possess 
this faculty, which is similar to that which Hecate is 
thought to possess among the Greeks, for Anubis is a 
deity of the lower world as well as a god of Olympus. 
Some are of the opinion that Anubis is Cronus. For 
this reason, inasmuch as he generates all things out 
of himself and conceives all things within himself, he 
has gained the appellation of "Dog." c There is, 
therefore, a certain mystery observed by those who 
revere Anubis; in ancient times the dog obtained the 
highest honours in Egypt ; but, when Cambyses d had 
slain the Apis and cast him forth, nothing came near 
the body or ate of it save only the dog ; and thereby 
the dog lost his primacy and his place of honour above 
that of all the other animals. 

d Cf. the note on 355 c, supra, 

107 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

Etcrt 8e rives ol to cr/aaoyxa rrjs yrjs, els o rrji 

oeXj]V7]v oXioddvovoav eKXeiTTew vofJLL^ovai, Tv<f>cova 

369 kolXovvtcs. (45.) "Odev ovk aireoiKev elTrelv cbs iSt'a 

fJL€V OVK OpdoJS €KCLOTOS, OfJLOV 8e TTaVTeS SpOcOS 

Xeyovotv, ov yap avxp*ov l oi)S' dvepuov ovSe 9dXar- 
tciv ovbe okotos, dAAa Trav ooov 7) <f>vocs fiXafiepov 
Kal (f)6apTLKov exec, jxopiov rov Tv<f>cov6s 0€T€OV. 2 
ovre ydp ev dipvxois ocopiaoi rds rov ttolvtos dpxas 
dereov, cos ArjpLOKpLTOs Kal ^iriKovpos, ovr clttolov* 
Srjpbtovpyov vXt]s eva Xoyov Kal puiav irpovoiav, cos 
ol Htgoikol, 7T€piyLyvopL€vqv arravTCov Kal Kparov- 
oav. dhvvarov ydp rj <f>Xavpov otlovv, ottov Ttdv- 
B rcoVy rj x? y ] (3TOV i ottov* p,r)8evds 6 Oeos atrtos, 
eyy eveodai. " TraXlvrovos " ydp " dppLovlr] Kotspiov, 
oKCooTrep 5 Xvprjs Kal to£ov " Kad* ^WpaKXeirov Kal 
Kar EvpLTTiSrjv 

ovk dv yei'ocro x°°P^ eardXa Kal /ca/ca, 
aAA' eon, tls ovyKpaais coot* €^€tv KaXtos. 

A to Kal TrapLTTaXacos avrrj Karetaiv €K OeoXoyoov 

Kal VopLodtTWV €LS T€ TTOL7)TaS Kal (f)lXoo6<f>OV$ So£d, 

ttjv apxty aoeoTTorov k'xpvaa, ttjv he ttlotlv ivyypav 
Kal Svoe^dXeiTTTov , ovk ev Xoyots piovov oi5S' ev 
(jtrjpiais, a,AA' ev re TeXerals €V re Ovoiais Kal j8ap- 
fldpots Kal "EAArjcri TToXXaxov Trepi^epopev^, 6 cos 

1 au^/xov] avxpov fxovov Sieveking". 

2 Oereov F.C.B. (lartv clirtiv Bernardakis; vofiioreov Strijd) « 
eoriv. 3 airoiov Meziriacus : arroiov ov, 

4 onov Meziriacus : ofiov. 

8 oKtoanep Wyttenbach : oiroiOTrep. 

* 7T€pL<j)€pOfJL€V7] HolweFCUt t 7r€pi^e/)0/i.€V^V. 

a Cf, 373 e, infra, 
6 Cf. 364 a, supra, and 376 f, infra. 

108 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 368-369 

There are some who give the name of Typhon to the 
Earth's shadow, into which they believe the moon 
slips when it suffers eclipse. a (45.) Hence it is not 
unreasonable to say that the statement of each person 
individually is not right, but that the statement of all 
collectively is right ; for it is not drought nor wind nor 
sea nor darkness, b but everything harmful and de- 
structive that Nature contains, which is to be set down 
as a part of Typhon. The origins of the universe are 
not to be placed in inanimate bodies, according to 
the doctrine of Democritus and Epicurus, nor yet is 
the Artificer of undifferentiated matter, according to 
the Stoic doctrine, one Reason, and one Providence 
which gains the upper hand and prevails over all 
things. The fact is that it is impossible for anything 
bad whatsoever to be engendered where God is the 
Author of all, or anything good where God is the 
Author of nothing ; for the concord of the universe, 
like that of a lyre or bow, according to Heracleitus, d 
is resilient if disturbed ; and according to Euripides, 6 

The good and bad cannot be kept apart, 
But there is some commingling, which is well. 

Wherefore this very ancient opinion comes down 
from writers on religion and from lawgivers to poets 
and philosophers ; it can be traced to no source, but 
it carried a strong and almost indelible conviction, and 
is in circulation in many places among barbarians and 
Greeks alike, not only in story and tradition but also 

c Of. von Arnim, Stoicorum Veterum Fragmenta, ii. p. 
1108, and Diogenes Laertius, vii. 134. 

d Of. Diels, Frag, der Vorsokratikfr, i. p. 87, no. r51. 
Plutarch quotes this again in Moralia, 473 f and 1026 b. 

e Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag., Euripides, no. 21, from the 
Aeolus : quoted again in Moralia, 25 c and 474 a. 

109 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

C ovt avow /cat aAoyov /cat aKvfSepv7)Tov ata/pctrai 
(369) tcd avrofidro) to ttolv, ovd* eh eoriv 6 Kpariov /cat 
Karevdvvojv ajorvrep ota£iv 7} tlol TTeidr^viois xaAivot? 
\6yos, dAAa ttoAAcx /cat /xe/zetyueVa /ca/cot? /cat 
ayaOots, /xaAAov he paqhev, co? aTrAco? etVctv, a/cpa- 
toi> evravOa rfjs (frvaecos (frepovcrrjs, ov hvolv ttLQojv 
els TOL/jLias toorrep i/a/xara tol 7Tpdy/jLara KaTrrjAiKws 
htavepucov dvaKepdvvvoiv rjfitv, aAA' aVo hvolv evav- 
tuov apx&v /cat hvolv dvTC7rdAa>v hwdfiecov rrjs puev 
em rd Septet /cat /car' evOelav v(f>rjyovfJLevrjs, tt}s S' 
ejJLTraAiv avaorpe(f>ovorrjs /cat dvaKAcoorjs y 6 re jSio? 

D JjLlktos o re kogjjlos, el /cat /X17 vras", aAA' o Trepiyeios 
ovros /cat jLtera acA^T^ 1 aVaijLtaAos" /cat ttoikLAos 
yeyove /cat /xera^SoAa? vrdaas he^ojxevos . ft yap 
ouSeV dvatriws ire^VKe yeveodat, alriav he /ca/cou 
raya#oV oi5/c aV 77apacr^ot, Set yeveoiv Ihlav /cat 
dpxrjv a)G7Tep dyadov /cat kolkov rrjv (f>voiv ex^tv. 

46. Kat So/cet rovro tols TrAeiorois /cat ao<£a)- 
TaTots" vofML^ovai yap ol fiev 6eov$ etvat ovo Kad~ 
direp dvrireyyovs y tov p,ev dyaOtov, tov he cfravAcov 
hrjpuovpyov. ol he rov fiev 2 dfieivova 6eov t rov S' 

E erepov halpiova kolAovglv wenrep TLoypodoTpr\s z 6 

1 ocXrjvrjs F.C.B. : aeA^v^v. 

2 fiev Markland: p^kv yap. 

3 ZcopodcrrpTjs from Life of Numa, ch. iv. : £a>poacrTpi?. 



The language is reminiscent of a fragment of Sophocles 
quoted by Plutarch in Moralia, 767 e, and Life of Alexander, 
chap. vii. (668 b). Cf. Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag., Sophocles, 

110 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 369 

in rites and sacrifices, to the effect that the Universe 
is not of itself suspended aloft without sense or reason 
or guidance, nor is there one Reason which rules and 
guides it by rudders, as it were, or by controlling 
reins, but, inasmuch as Nature brings, in this life of 
ours, many experiences in which both evil and good 
are commingled, or better, to put it very simply, 
Nature brings nothing which is not combined with 
something else, we may assert that it is not one 
keeper of two great vases b who, after the manner of 
a barmaid, deals out to us our failures and successes 
in mixture, but it has come about, as the result of two 
opposed principles and two antagonistic forces, one of 
which guides us along a straight course to the right, 
while the other turns us aside and backward, that 
our life is complex, and so also is the universe ; and 
if this is not true of the whole of it, yet it is true that 
this terrestrial universe, including its moon as well, is 
irregular and variable and subject to all manner of 
changes. For if it is the law of Nature that nothing 
comes into being without a cause, and if the good 
cannot provide a cause for evil, then it follows that 
Nature must have in herself the source and origin of 
evil, just as she contains the source and origin of good. 
46. The great majority and the wisest of men hold 
this opinion : they believe that there are two gods, 
rivals as it were, the one the Artificer of good and the 
other of evil. There are also those who call the better 
one a god and the other a daemon, as, for example, 

no. 785. " A task for many reins and rudders too " (iroXXtov 
XclXlvcov cpyov olaKiov 0' dfia). 

b The reference is to Homer, II. xxiv. 527-528, as mis- 
quoted in Plato, Republic, 379 d. Cf. also Moralia, 24 a 
(and the note), 105 c (and the note), and 473 b. Moralia, 
600 c, is helpful in understanding the present passage. 

Ill 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

/JidyOS, OV 7T€VTCLK 10X^1*0 IS €T€GL rtOV TpOJLKtUV }/£• 

yovevai irpeofivrepov Icrropovaiv. ovros ovv itcdXei 
rov fiev 'Qpofidi^rfv, rov 8* 'Apetfidviov /cat irpoo- 

a7T€<f)aW€TO TOV fX€V €OLK€Vai <JHx)tI pbdXtGTa Ttx)V 

aLdOrjTCov, rov 8' efjurraXtv okotoj /cat ayvoia* \ieoov 
8' a/jL(f)OLv rov Nl6p7)v elvai Std /cat Mtdpi]v Ilepaai 
rov Meolrrjv ovo^idtovaiv . e3t'Sa£e Se 2 rw /xeV 
evKrata Oveiv Kal' x a P Larll W La > T <f> °* aTrorpoVata 
/cat OKvdpoma. noav yap rtva Koirrovres Sfitopu 
KaXovjJL€vr]v iv oAjjlo) rov "AtS^y dvaKaXovvrat /cat 
rov OKorov elra p,eli;avres al^ari Avkov o<f>ayevros 
F els rorrov dvqXiov eK(f>epovat, /cat pl-nrovoi. /cat yap 
row <f)vra)v vofii^ovai rd fiev rov dyadov deov, rd 
Se rov /ca/cou Saifiovos etvar /cat rcov t^coajv cooTrep 
Kvvas /cat SpviOas /cat ^epaaiovs ixivovs rov dya- 
0ov, rov Se <f>avXov puvs 3 ivvSpovs elvac Sto /cat 
rov Krelvavra rrXeiarovs evhai fiovi^ovcriv . 

47. Ov fxr]v aAAa 4 /cd/cet^ot 7roAAa p,v9co8r] rrepl 
rcov decov Xeyovow, ota /cat ravr' eorlv. 6 fiev 
* Qpofidt^s e/c rod Kadapojrdrov thdovs? 6 8' Apet- 
jxdvios e/c rov £6(f)OV yeyovcos, rroXefiovoLV dXXrjXoiS' 
370 /cat 6 fiev e£ deovs liroirfae, rov fiev Trpcorov evvotas, 
rov Se 8evrepov dXrjdelas, rov be rplrov evvofilas' 
rcov Se Xoiitcov rov fiev ao<f)tas, rov Se nXovrov, 

1 dyvoia] 6p<f»vaia (?). 2 hk added by Meziriacus, 

3 fivs Squire from 670 d : tovs. 

4 aAAa added by Reiske. 

5 <j>aov<f\ <fnQTo<; Hatzidakis. 

° The casual reader will gain a better understanding of 
chapters 46 and 4? if he will consult some brief book or 
article on Zoroaster (Zarathustra) and the Persian religion. 

* That is, one of the Persian Magi or Wise Men. 
112 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 369-370 

Zoroaster a the sage, 6 who, they record, lived five 
thousand years before the time of the Trojan War. He 
called the one Oromazes and the other Areimanius c ; 
and he further declared that among all the things per- 
ceptible to the senses, Oromazes may best be compared 
to light, and Areimanius, conversely, to darkness and 
ignorance, and midway between the two is Mithras ; 
for this reason the Persians give to Mithras the name 
of " Mediator." Zoroaster has also taught that men 
should make votive offerings and thank-offerings to 
Oromazes, and averting and mourning offerings to 
Areimanius. They pound up in a mortar a certain 
plant called omomi, at the same time invoking Hades d 
and Darkness ; then they mix it with the blood of a 
wolf that has been sacrificed, and carry it out and 
cast it into a place where the sun never shines. In 
fact, they believe that some of the plants belong to 
the good god and others to the evil daemon ; so also 
of the animals they think that dogs, fowls, and hedge- 
hogs, for example, belong to the good god, but that 
water-rats e belong to the evil one ; therefore the 
man who has killed the most of these they hold to 
be fortunate. 

47. However, they also tell many fabulous stories 
about their gods, such, for example, as the following : 
Oromazes, born from the purest light, and Areimanius, 
born from the darkness, are constantly at war with 
each other ; and Oromazes created six gods, the first 
of Good Thought, the second of Truth, the third of 
Order, and, of the rest, one of Wisdom, one of Wealth, 

c Cf Moralia, 1026 b, and Diogenes Laertius, Pro- 
logue, 2. 
d Cf Diogenes Laertius, Prologue, 8. 
6 Cf Moralia, f>37 a and 670 n. 

113 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(370) tov he tcov cttl toZs kclXois rjheojv hrjptovpyov 6 
he tovtols ajcnrep dvTiTeyyovs taovs tov dptdpiov. 
effi 6 puev 'QpopLafys rpls eavTov av^ijaas a7reaTrjcre 
tov tjXlov togovtov ooov 6 rjXios ttjs yrjs d(f)eo'T7]Ke i 
Kal tov ovpavov aarpotg eKocrpLrjcrev k'va S' aarepa 
Trpo TTOLvrajv olov cj>vXaKa Kal TrpooTrnqv eyKari- 
arrjae, tov oelpiov. aXXovs he 7roi7Jcras TeTTapas Kal 
B etKoat deovs els coov edrjKev. ol S' airo tov 'Apet- 
fxavlov yevo/JLevoi Kal avTol tooovtoi, hiaTprjoavTes 
to coov eloehvoav / odev dvap,epLeLKTai tol KaKa toZs 
dyadoZs. eireioi he. XP° V °S ^Ipuapfxevos, ev to tov 
Apetpidviov Aotpidv eirayovTa Kal Xipov vtto tovtlov 
dvdyKrj (f>daprjvai uavTaTcaai Kal d<f>avio6fjvai, ttjs 
he yrjs eTwrehov Kal opaXrjs yevopLevrjs, eva jUtov Kal 
paav TToXiTelav dvdpcoTTojv p^aKapltov Kal 6fio- 
yXojootov aTrdvTOJV yeveoOai. ®eo7Top,7Tos he tprjoi 
Kara tovs pudyovs dvd piepos rpta^tAta eTrj tov p,ev 
KpaTelv tov he KpaTeZoOai tcov Qecov, dXXa he Tpio- 
XiXia pidyevQai Kal TroXepueZv Kal dvaXvecv ra tov 
C eTepov tov eTepov TeXos 8' a7roXeL7TecrdaL 2 tov 
"Aihrjv, Kal tovs pbev dvOpwrrovs evhalpuovas ecre- 
odai pLTjTe Tpothrjs heoptevovs pirjTe OKidv iroiovvTas' 
tov he TavTa pLrjxavrjtTdpLevov deov rjpepbeZv Kal dva- 
Traveodai -^povov, KaXXcos 3 piev ov iroXvv tw Qetp 
oarovnep* dvOpojirtp Koipicopevcp p.e.Tpiov. 

1 sloihvoav (suggested partly by Bottcher) F.C.B. : yavcodkv. 
2 dtroAeiVcaflcu] aTToXtioBai Markland. 

3 koXXojs H.C. B. : KaXws. 

4 OOOVTTtp F.C.B. : OX77T€p. 

° It is plain that the two sets of gods became intermingled, 
but whether the bad gods got in or the good gods got out 
is not clear from the text. 
114 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 370 

and one the Artificer of Pleasure in what is Honour- 
able. But Areimanius created rivals, as it were, equal 
to these in number. Then Oromazes enlarged him- 
self to thrice his former size, and removed himself as 
far distant from the Sun as the Sun is distant from 
the Earth, and adorned the heavens with stars. One 
star he set there before all others as a guardian and 
watchman, the Dog-star. Twenty-four other gods 
he created and placed in an egg. But those created 
by Areimanius, who were equal in number to the 
others, pierced through the egg and made their way 
inside a ; hence evils are now combined with good. 
But a destined time shall come when it is decreed that 
Areimanius, engaged in bringing on pestilence and 
famine, shall by these be utterly annihilated and shall 
disappear ; and then shall the earth become a level 
plain, and there shall be one manner of life and one 
form of government for a blessed people who shall all 
speak one tongue. Theopompus b says that, according 
to the sages, one god is to overpower, and the other 
to be overpowered, each in turn for the space of three 
thousand years, and afterward for another three 
thousand years they shall fight and war, and the one 
shall undo the works of the other, and finally Hades 
shall pass away ; then shall the people be happy, and 
neither shall they need to have food nor shall they 
cast any shadow. And the god, who has contrived to 
bring about all these things, shall then have quiet and 
shall repose for a time, c no long time indeed, but for 
the god as much as would be a moderate time for a 
man to sleep. 

6 Jacoby, Frag. Gr. Hist., Theopompus, no. 65. 
e The meaning of the text is clear enough, but the wording 
of it is uncertain. 

115 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(370) f H fJL€v ovv pudycov puvOoAoy la roiovrov e^et rpo- 
ttov. (48.) XaASaiot 8c rcbv irAavrjTOJV ouV 0€ovg 
yevedAiovs 2 kolAovgi, ovo fxev ayaOovpyovs, ovo Se 
kclkottoiovs, fieaovs Se rovs rpelg aTro^aivovai Kal 
kolvovs. ra 8' ^AArfveov iraai ttov otjAcl, rrjv jjl€v 
ayadrjv Aids 'OAv/jlttlov /xept'Sa, rrjv 8' aTrorpoTraiov* 
"AiSov 7roiovfjL€Pa)Vy €K 8' 'A(f>pooiTr]s Kal "Apeos 
D ' Appioviav yeyovevac jxvdoAoyovvrojv 4 " (Lv 6 fiev 
aTTrjvrjs Kal <f)iA6v€iKos , rj Se /jlclAIxios Kal yevedAios. 

2/C07T66 8e TOU? cf)iAoGO(f)OV£ TOVTOLS GVp(j>€pO- 
p,4vOVS. t Hp(XKA€LTOS /XCV y(X/0 aVTIKpVS TToAtpLOV 

ovofid&i " narepa Kal jSaatAe'a Kal Kvpiov Trdvrojv," 
Kal rov pikv "Opiiqpov eixo^evov 

€K re decoy epiv €K t dvdpcoTrojv aTroAeadai 

Aavddveiv, firjcri, rjj navrcov yeveaec Karapwjjievov , 
€K {idx^S Kal dvTLiradtias rrjv yiveotv exdvrcov, 
tjAiov Se p,rj VTrepfirjo'ecrBat rovs irpo<jr)KovTas opovs' 
ei Se jjLTj, yopywnds 5 jjllv Alktjs iiriKovpovs i£- 
evprjaetv. 
E 'EjJLTreooKArjs Se rrjv fxev dyadovpyov apxyv 
" tfiiAoTrjTa" Kal " (friAiav" iroAAaKis o appuoviav 

1 ovs Wyttenbach : rovs. 

2 yevcOXiovs Wyttenbach : y€v4a6at ovs. 

3 aTTOTpoTTaiov Markland : dnorpoTTatov. 

4 jjivdoXoyovvTUjv Bernardakis : fivdoXoyovurai. 
5 yopya>7rds F.C.B. ( = 'Epivv€S 604 a): yXarrTas. 



a The translation is based on an emendation of Wytten- 
bach 's, which makes the words refer to Chaldean astrology 

116 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 370 

Such, then, is the character of the mythology of 
the sages. (48.) The Chaldeans declare that of the 
planets, which they call tutelary gods, a two are 
beneficent, two maleficent, and the other three are 
median and partake of both qualities. The beliefs 
of the Greeks are well known to all ; they make 
the good part to belong to Olympian Zeus and the 
abominated part to Hades, and they rehearse a 
legend that Concord is sprung from Aphrodite and 
Ares, 6 the one of whom is harsh and contentious, 
and the other mild and tutelary. 

Observe also that the philosophers are in agree- 
ment with these ; for Heracleitus c without reserva- 
tion styles War M the Father and King and Lord of 
All," and he says that when Homer d prays that 

Strife may vanish away from the ranks of the gods and of 
mortals, 

he fails to note that he is invoking a curse on the 
origin of all things, since all things originate from 
strife and antagonism ; also Heracleitus says that 
the Sun will not transgress his appropriate bounds, 
otherwise the stern - eyed maidens, ministers of 
Justice, will find him out. e 

Empedocles / calls the beneficent principle ''friend- 
ship " or " friendliness," and oftentimes he calls Con- 

(i.e. the planet under which one is born). Cf. Sextns Empiri- 
cus, Adversus Mathematicos, v. 29. 

6 That is, from Love and War. 

c Diels, Frag, der Vorsokratiker, i. p. 88, no. b 53. 

4 II. xviii. 107, but Plutarch modifies the line to suit his 
context. 

* Cf. Moralia, 604 a ; Origen, Against Celsus, vi. 42 ; 
Diels, Frag, der Vorsokratiker> i. p. 96, no. b 94. 

' Ibid. p. 232, Empedocles, no. 18 ; p. 239, no. 17, 1. 19; 
and p. 269, no. 122 ( — Moralia y 474 b). 

117 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

KaXec " QeixepcoTTiv," 1 ttjv Se ytlpova " vclkos ovXo- 
fxevov " Kal ' Srjpiv at/xaroe<jaav. M 

01 fJL€V YlvOayopiKol 8 id ttXciovcdv oVo/xdVoji' 
Karrj-yopovai tov puev dyaOov to ev to irenepa- 
Cftevov to ixivov to evOv to TrepiTTov to TeTpdycovov 
to taov 2 to Seijcov to XapLirpov, tov Se kolkov ttjv 

SuaSa TO CLTTtlpOV 'TO (f>€p6fJL€VOV TO KafJL7TvXoV TO 
dpTLOV TO €T€p6jJL7]K€S TO (XVIOOV TO dpiOT€pOV TO 

okotzivov, d>s raura? ao^as yeveaecos U7roKei/xeVa?- 
1 ' Ava£ayopas Se vovv /cat dVeiooi/, * ApioTOTeXrjS Se 
F to fiev etSos 1 to Se GTeprjocv, UXcltcdv Se 77oAAa^'ou 
fjiev olov €7T7]Xvya^6fji€vog 3 Kal TrapaKaXvTTToixevos 
tlov ivavTiwv dpyG>v ttjv piev tolvtov ovopid^eL, ri]v 
Se OoLTepov eV Se Tots Nojlcois 1 rjSrjTT pzafivTepos u)v 
ov St' alvtyfjicov ovSe crvfi^oXiKcog, dXXd Kvpiois 
ovopLaGiv ov fxta ipvxfj (f>rjOL KLveloOai tov Koapiov, 
aAAd ttXziogiv Igojs, Suou' Se TtdvTOJS ovk eXaTToenv , 
<hv* ttjv fiev dyadovpyov eivou, ttjv S' IvavTiav 
TavTjj Kal Ttbv evavTiO)V Srjpuovpyov a7roAei7ret 
Se Kal TpiTrjV Tiva pL€Ta£v <f)vaiv ovk diffv^ov 
ouS' dXoyov ouS' aKivryrov i£ avTrjs, Looirep eVtot 
372 vofjLL^ovatv, dXX dvaK€Lfi€vr]v dji(j>oZv e'/cetVats", 
i^tepLevqv Se ttjs dputLvovos del Kal Trodovaav 
Kal oi<x)Kovaav, <bs rd en-tcWa S^Aojcret tou 

1 /axAcc 0€fi€pa}7nv Bentley : /caAeioflai /ie/0O7rt. 

2 to loov added by Xylander. 

3 €7TrjXvyat,6fi€vos Baxter and one MS. : iiriXvyL^o^vos, 

4 d>v Squire : odtv. 

118 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 370-371 

cord " sedate of countenance " ; the worse principle 
he calls "accursed quarrelling" and "blood-stained 
strife." 

The adherents of Pythagoras a include a variety of 
terms under these categories : under the good they 
set Unity, the Determinate, the Permanent, the 
Straight, the Odd, the Square, the Equal, the Right- 
handed, the Bright ; under the bad they set Duality, 
the Indeterminate, the Moving, the Curved, the 
Even, the Oblong, the Unequal, the Left-handed, the 
Dark, on the supposition that these are the under- 
lying principles of creation. For these, however, 
Anaxagoras postulates Mind and Infinitude, Aris- 
totle b Form and Privation, and Plato, c in many 
passages, as though obscuring and veiling his 
opinion, names the one of the opposing principles 
" Identity " and the other " Difference " ; but in his 
Laws, d when he had grown considerably older, he 
asserts, not in circumlocution or symbolically, but in 
specific words, that the movement of the Universe 
is actuated not by one soul, but perhaps by several, 
and certainly by not less than two, and of these the 
one is beneficent, and the other is opposed to it 
and the artificer of things opposed. Between these 
he leaves a certain third nature, not inanimate 
nor irrational nor without the power to move 
of itself, 6 as some think, but with dependence on 
both those others, and desiring the better always 
and yearning after it and pursuing it, as the succeed- 
ing portion of the treatise will make clear, in the 

a Cf. Moral ia, 881 e, and Aristotle, Metaphysics, i. 5 
(986 a 22). 

* Cf. Aristotle, Metaphysics, i. 9 (990 b). 
c Timaeus, 35 a ; cf. Moralia, 441 f. 

* Plato, Laws, 896 r> if. * Cf. 374 e, Infra. 

119 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(371) Xoyov tj]v Alyvirrlcxiv OtoXoyiav fidXtcrra ravrrj rfj 
<f)iAoao(f) la ovvolkclovvtos . 

49. M.€fJL€iyfi€V7] yap rj rouSe rod Koofiov yeveois 
/cat ovaraois e£ €volvtlojv ov pLjjv looodevtbv hvvd- 
p,eu)v, dXXd rfjs fieXriovos to Kpdrog Igtiv diroXe- 
(70ai Sc rrjv cjxivXrjv TTavromaoiv aSvvarov, ttoXXtjv 

fl€V €fJL7T€(f)VKVLaV TO) OOJjJLCLTl, TToXXrjV §€ Tjj ^V^Tf 

rod ttclvtos /cai 1 irp'os tt]v jSeArtWa del 1 ouoyxa^oi}- 
oav. ev fjiev ovv rfj ifcvxfj vovs /cat Xoyos 6 twv 
apiOTOJV TTdVTiov rjyefjLcbv /cat Kvpios ' Ooipis eCFTlV, 

B ev he yrj /cat TrvevpLCLTL /cat v'Sart feat ovpavto /cat 
darpois to TeTay/xevov /cat KadeoTrjKos /cat vytalvov 
copais /cat Kpdaeoi /cat Trepiohois Ooipihos aTropporj 
/cat eucdiv epL^acvopievrj' Tvcfxhv he Trjs ^XV^ T ° 
TradrjTiKov /cat titovlkov /cat dXoyov /cat ejJL7rXrjKTOv 
tov he aojfjLaTiKov to eiriKr^pov 1 koX voo-d)he<; /cat 
TapaKTiKov dojpiais* /cat Sua/cpaatats", /cat Kpvifjeotv 
tjXlov /cat d(f)aviop,ols oeXrjvys, oiov eKopofxal /cat 
dc^ytaa/xot 4 Tvcfrdjvos' /cat tovvojjlcl /car^yopct rd 
£77$, a) 5 roi/ Tv<f)djva KaXovcri' (frpd^ei, puev to kclto,- 
hvvaoTevov /cat /carajSta^d/xe^oi/, (f>pd^et he to 6 
77oAAd/ct9 dvaoTpo<f>r]v /cat 7rdAtv vTTepTrrjhrjcrLv.' 7 Be- 

C /Jawa Sc Tides' jitev eVa toV rou Tu^dWs" iraipcuv 
yeyovevai XeyovoLV, Mave0<hs S >8 au top' Tucicui^a 
/cat TUlfiojva KaXeloOai' a^/xatVet Se rouVo/xa KaQe^tv 

1 /cat . . . act Wyttenbach : dci . . . icat. 

2 imKTjpov Xylander (cWA^tttov ?) : €ttIkXt)tov, 

3 dtopiats Baxter: dflpiais. 

4 d(f>7)VLaafjLoi Mark land : d<f>aviofiol. 

5 Jj Xylander: au. 6 to] ttjv Markland. 

7 U7rcp7nj877crtv] VTT€K7rr}B7}(jLv Holwerda, 

8 Mavedojs 8' Markland : /xdvcflos. 

120 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 371 

endeavour to reconcile the religious beliefs of the 
Egyptians with this philosophy. a 

49. The fact is that the creation and constitution 
of this world is complex, resulting, as it does, from 
opposing influences, which, however, are not of equal 
strength, but the predominance rests with the better. 
Yet it is impossible for the bad to be completely 
eradicated, since it is innate, in large amount, in the 
body and likewise in the soul of the Universe, and is 
always fighting a hard fight against the better. So 
in the soul Intelligence and Reason, the Ruler and 
Lord of all that is good, is Osiris, and in earth and 
wind and water and the heavens and stars that which 
is ordered, established, and healthy, as evidenced by 
seasons, temperatures, and cycles of revolution, is the 
efflux of Osiris b and his reflected image. But Typhon 
is that part of the soul which is impressionable, im- 
pulsive, irrational and truculent, and of the bodily part 
the destructible, diseased and disorderly as evidenced 
by abnormal seasons and temperatures, and by obscura- 
tions of the sun and disappearances of the moon, c 
outbursts, as it were, and unruly actions on the part 
of Typhon. And the name " Seth," d by which they 
call Typhon, denotes this ; it means " the overmaster- 
ing" and "overpowering," 6 and it means in very many 
instances " turning back/^ and again " overpassing." 
Some say that one of the companions of Typhon was 
Bebon,^ but Manetho says that Bebon was still 
another name by which Typhon was called. The 
name signifies "restraint " or " hindrance," as much as 

Cf. 372 e and 377 a, infra. 

b See the note on 365 it, supra. c Cf. 368 f, supra. 

d Cf. 367 d, supra, and 376 a, infra. 

e So also in the Egyptian papyri. 

' Cf. 376 b, infra. ' Cf. 376 a, infra. 

121 



PLUTARCH'S MORALTA 
(371) fj kojXvow, ojs tols TTpayiiacnv 6Sa> /?aSt£ouot /cat 

7Tp09 O XPV <f>€pOfJ,€VOLS €VlOTOLpL€Vr)S TTJS TOV Tu- 

<j>a>vos hvvayLCios. (50.) 8to /cat tojv p,€v rjpiepojv 
£a>(Di> asnovep,ovoiv avrw to dfjuadecrraTOV, ovov 
rcov 8* dypitov to\ d-qptajSearara, KpoKoSeiXov /cat 

TOV TTOTajALOV L7T7TOV . 

Uepl pi€V OVV 1 TOV OVOV 7Tpoh€SrjXa)Ka/JL€V, €V 

'Eo/zou TToXet Se Tvfywvos ayaA/xa StiKVvovcnv Itfttov 
rroTafiLov i<f>* ov fizfirjKev Upa£ S(f)€i p,axop<£vos , toj 

D JJL€V L7T7TOJ TOV Tv<f>COVa htlKVVVTCS , Tip 8* UpCLKl 

Svvafiiv /cat apxyv, rjv jSta /crai/zevos o Tu<£coi> 7roA- 
Aa/cts" oi)/c avveTCLL 2 TapcLTTopievos vtto Tjjs /ca/ctas" 
/cat TCLpaTTGov. 8to /cat 6vovt€s efihopLrj tov Tvfil 

jJL7]v6s, TjV KaXoVOlV d(f)L^LV "loiSoS €K QowllCqs , 

iTMrXaTTOVGL toZs TTorravois lttttov TTOTapnov SeSe- 

fl€VOV. €V 8' 'AtToXXcOVOS TToXd V€VOpUOpi€VOV €OTL 

KpoKohtLXov (jyaytiv ttolvtcos Zkclotov rj^pa Se pud 
9rjp€voavT€s ooovs av SvvojvTai /cat KTeivavTeg 
amavTiKpv tov Upov TrpofidXXovai' /cat Xiyovoiv <bs 
6 Tvcfrwv tov T Q.pov arreopa /cpo/cdSetAos" yevop,€vos , 
E vdvra /cat £a>a /cat <£ura /cat 7ra^ ra <f>avXa /cat 
pXafiepa TvcfxZvos epya /cat /xe'077 /cat 3 /ctv^uara 

7TOlOVpi€VOC. 

51. Tov 8* "Ooipiv av irdXiv 6(f)9aXpLa> /cat cr/C7y- 

7TTp(X) ypd(j>OVOlV, <A)V TO pL€V TTjV TTpOVOLQiV £p,' 

<f>a.LV€L* to Se T17V SiW/ztv, ojs "O/x^oos rov dpxpvTa 

1 /x€i> ow M arkland : /ttv. 

2 dvt/eroi Strijd ; avUrai Mark land : dvidrat. 

3 Not in the mss. but in the Aldine ed. 

4 ifi<f>aiv€i F.C.B. et al. : c/i^cuWiv. 

° Supra, 362 f. 

6 The text and significance of this passage are none too 
clear. 
122 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 371 

to say that, when things are going along in a proper 
way and making rapid progress towards the right 
end, the power of Typhon obstructs, them. (50.) For 
this reason they assign to him the most stupid of the 
domesticated animals, the ass, and of the wild animals, 
the most savage, the crocodile and the hippopotamus. 

In regard to the ass we have already offered some 
explanation. At Hermopolis they point out a statue 
of Typhon in the form of an hippopotamus, on whose 
back is poised a hawk fighting with a serpent. By the 
hippopotamus they mean to indicate Typhon, and by 
the hawk a power and rule, which Typhon strives to 
win by force, oftentimes without success, being con- 
fused by his wickedness and creating confusion. 6 For 
this reason, when they offer sacrifice on the seventh 
day of the month Tybi, which they call the " Coming 
of Isis from Phoenicia," they imprint on their sacred 
cakes the image of an hippopotamus tied fast. In 
the town of Apollonopolis it is an established custom 
for every person without exception to eat of a croco- 
dile c ; and on one day they hunt as many as they 
can and, after killing them, cast them down directly 
opposite the temple. And they relate that Typhon 
escaped Horus by turning into a crocodile, and they 
would make out that all animals and plants and inci- 
dents that are bad and harmful are the deeds and 
parts and movements of Typhon. 

51. Then again, they depict Osiris by means of an 
eye and a sceptre, d the one of which indicates fore- 
thought and the other power, much as Homer e in 

c Cf. Herodotus, ii. 60 ; Aelian, De Natura Animalium^ 
x. 21 ; Strabo, xvii. 1. 47 (p. 817). 
d Cf. 354 p, supra. 
e Homer, Iliad* viii. 22. 

123 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

Kal fiaoiXevovra ttovtcov " Zfjv' virarov Kal \ir\- 
OTCopa " koXcov, eot/ce tco jjl€v viraTcp to Kpdros 
avrov, tco Se ixrjorcjpi rrjv evfiovXlav Kal ttjv 
(f>p6v7)OLV orjixaivew. ypdtftovoi Kal tepa/ct tov 9eov 
tovtov rroXXoLKis' evTovlq yap oi/jetos VTrepfidXAet 
Kal 7TTTJ<J€a>s o^vrrjri, Kal Stot/cetv avrov cAa^tar^ 1 
F rpo(f>fj 7T€(f>VKe. Ae'yerat Se Kal veKpcov drd<f)a)v 
ofifiaai 2 yrjv VTrepireTopuevos eVt/?dAAeti>* orav Se 

TTLOfJLCVOS* €7TL TOV TTOTajXOV KaraipTj , TO TTT€pOV 
lOTTjaiV 6p66v 7TICOV §6 /cAtVet TOVTO TTaXiV CO 

SrjAos eoTL oeo-ojofjievos Kal hiairetfttvycos tov KpoKo- 
SetAoy av yap dpTraoOfj, pL€V€i to TTTepov cocnrep 
euTT] 7T€7rriy6s. 

WavTaxov Se /cat dv6pco7TOjjLop(f)ov 'OcrtptSos 
dyaA/za 8€lkvvovolv, i^opOtd^ov tco alooltp Std to 
yovtjjiov Kal to Tpocbtpiov. djJLTrexovr) Se <£AoyoetSei 
372 OTeXXovoriv* avrov tols et/coVas*, rjXiov ocopca 6 ttjs 
Tayadov Swdpuecos cos oparov ovoias vorfrrjs rjyov- 
fjuevoi. Sto Kal KaTatftpovelv d£t6v eVrt tcov ttjv 
rjXiov otfralpav TvlJmjjvl irpoovepuovTCOv , to XapLTTpov 
ovoev ovoe acoTrjptov ovoe rafts' ovoe yeveots ovoe 
KLvrjacs [i&rpov eypvoa /cat Aoyov, dAAa TavavTia 
7rpoorjK€i* Kal avxi^ov, a> B (f)9etpet 77oAAa tcov ^ojcov 
Kal fiXaoTavovTcov , oi>x rjXtov Oereov epyov, dXXd 
tcov ev yfj Kal aepi firj Ka6* topav Kepavvvfxevcov 

1 iXaxiorr) Bernardakis : eAa^tcrra rfj. 

2 o/x/uacrt] awfxaot, Xylander. 

8 7TLOfx€vos Bernardakis : iriov^icvos. 

4 dfi7T€x6vr} . . . ot€\Aovolv Baxter : afMirexovq 8e <j>\oyo€i$r)S 
oreXXovaa. 5 oa>fxa\ o/Ltfta Markland. 

6 <S F.C.B.; os Baxter: ols. 

* Cf. Aelian, Be Natura Animalium, ii. 42, and Por- 
phyry, De Abstinentia, iv. 9. b Ibid. x. 24. 

124, 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 371-372 

calling the Lord and King of all " Zeus supreme and 
counsellor" appears by ' 'supreme ' ' to signify his prowess 
and by " counsellor " his careful planning and thought- 
fulness. They also often depict this god by means of 
a hawk ; for this bird is surpassing in the keenness of 
its vision and the swiftness of its flight, and is wont 
to support itself with the minimum amount of food. 
It is said also in flying over the earth to cast dust 
upon the eyes of unburied dead a ; and whenever it 
settles down beside the river to drink it raises its 
feather upright, and after it has drunk it lets this 
sink down again, by which it is plain that the bird 
is safe and has escaped the crocodile, 5 for if it be 
seized, the feather remains fixed upright as it was 
at the beginning. 

Everywhere they point out statues of Osiris in 
human form of the ithyphallic type, on account of 
his creative and fostering power c ; and they clothe 
his statues in a flame-coloured garment, since they 
regard the body of the Sun as a visible manifestation 
of the perceptible substance of the power for good. d 
Therefore it is only right and fair to contemn those 
who assign the orb of the Sun to Typhon, 6 to whom 
there attaches nothing bright or of a conserving nature, 
no order nor generation nor movement possessed 
of moderation or reason, but everything the re- 
verse ; moreover, the drought/ by which he destroys 
many of the living creatures and growing plants, is 
not to be set down as the work of the Sun, but rather 
as due to the fact that the winds and waters in the 
earth and the air are not seasonably tempered when 

c Cf. 365 b, supra. 

d Cf 393 d and 477 c, infra. 

• Cf. 372 e, infra. * Cf. 367 d, supra. 

125 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(372) TTvevixdrcov Kal v8dra>u, orav rj rrjs draKrov Kal 
doptcrrov Svvdfxeojs dpx^j TTXrjfipLeXrjoaaa Kara- 
crfieor} rag dvaQvpudcreis. 

B 52. 'Ev Se rols Upois vjxvois rod 'OcriptSos dva- 
KaXovvrai rov iv rat? dyKaXatg Kpvrrropievov rov 
rjXiov, Kal rfj rpta/cdSt rov 'Emc^t paqvog £op- 
rdt,ovcnv ocfrdaXfitov "Q.pov yeveOXiov , ore creXrjvr) 
Kal t]Xlos €ttI jjll&s 'tvdeias yeyovaoiv, J>s ov ptovov 
rr)v oeXrjvrjv dAAd Kal rov rjXiov ofifia rod "Clpov 
Kal tfitos rjyovpievoL . 

Tfj 8e oySor) <J>6lvovtos rov Oaax^t paKrrjplas 
rjXiov yevedXiov 1 dyovoc pier a cfiOLVOTTOjpivrjv larj- 
pbeplav, ifufiaivovres olov VTrepetajxaros Setcr#at Kal 
pwoeojs, rep re deppep yvyvop,evov /cat 2 rep (f>a)rl 

C evSea, kXlv6jjl€Vov Kal nXdyiov d(f>* rjficov cpepopuevov. 
"Ert 8e rr)v fiovv vtto rporrag xei/^cpivas 1 eirraKis 
irepl rov vaov TTepccf>epovtn rov 'HAt'ou 3, /cat KaXetrat 
^TjrrjOLS 'OcrtptSo? rj Trepi8poprj, ro v8a>p ^et/xto^o? 
rrjs deov TroOovorjs' roaavraKig 8e rrepuaoL,* on 
rrjv and rpoTTtov x CL l JL€ P Li;( * >v €7 ™ rpoirds Oepivas 
irdpohov* e^86[ico parfvl ovpLTrepaivei. Xeyerai 8e Kal 
dvorac rco rjXicp rerpdhi firjvds iorajiivov Trdvrwv 
TTptoros T £lpos 6 IglSos, d)$ ev rols eTTiypacj>OjX€VOLS 
TevedXlois "£lpov yeypairrai. 
Kat px)v rjfiepas eKaorrjs rpt^a)? eTTidvpatooi rco 

D rjXltp, prjrtvrjv fiev vtto rag dvaroXas , upivpvav 8e 
fjLeaovpavovvTL, ro 8e KaXovpuevov Kvtf>i irepl Svapidg' 

1 yevedXiov Bentley : yevdodai ov. 

2 Kal Petavius : e^Sea Kal. 

3 In the mss. rov 'HAiou follows irepiBpopL-q and not ttc/h- 
<f>€povoi; transposed by Pinder. 

4 7rcpuaai Wyttenbach : trtpUtm* 

5 ndpooov] TTtplohov Markland. 

126 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 372 

the principle of the disorderly and unlimited power 
gets out of hand and quenches the exhalations. 

52. In the sacred hymns of Osiris they call upon 
him who is hidden in the arms of the Sun ; and on 
the thirtieth of the month Epiphi they celebrate the 
birthday of the Eyes of Horus, at the time when the 
Moon and the Sun are in a perfectly straight line, 
since they regard not only the Moon but also the Sun 
as the eye and light of Horus. 

On the 8th of the waning of the month Phaophi 
they conduct the birthday of the Staff of the Sun 
following upon the autumnal equinox, and by this 
they declare, as it were, that he is in need of support 
and strength, since he becomes lacking in warmth and 
light, and undergoes decline, and is carried away from 
us to one side. 

Moreover, at the time of the winter solstice they 
lead the cow seven times around the temple of the 
Sun and this circumambulation is called the Seeking 
for Osiris, since the Goddess in the winter-time yearns 
for water ; so many times do they go around, because 
in the seventh month the Sun completes the transition 
from the winter solstice to the summer solstice. It is 
said also that Horus, the son of Isis, offered sacrifice to 
the Sun first of all on the fourth day of the month, as 
is written in the records entitled the Birthdays of 
Horus. 

Every day they make a triple offering of incense to 
the Sun, an offering of resin at sunrise, of myrrh at 
midday, and of the so-called cyphi at sunset ; the 

a Cf. 369 a, supra. 

127 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(372) wv €kol(jtov ov e^ei Xoyov , varepov d^yrjaopiaL. 

TOV 8' TfXlOV TXaOl TOVTOIS 7T pOUTp€TT eadai 1 KOI 0€pCL- 
7T€V€LV OlOVTOLl. /Cat TL Set 7ToAAd TOLOLVTCL OVVayeiV / 

€Lcrl yap ol tov "Ouipiv avrcKpvs yjXiov elvai /cat 
Svofjid^eoOaL cretptov v<j>' 'EXXtjvojv Xeyovres, €t /cat 
Trap 1 AlyvTTTtois rj TrpooQzais 2 rod dpOpov rovvofia 

7T€7TOLTjK€V dpL(f>LyVO€lo 8 at, TTjV 8' ^IctV OV\ €T€pCLV 

rrjs aeXrjvrjs an cxjmivovres' odev 5 /cat tcov dyaX- 
fidrajv avrrjg ra pukv Kepaa<f>6pa rod pbrjvoeiSovg 
yeyovevai /u/i/r^tara, rots Se /xeAa^oardAot? e/x- 
cfxiLveodai* rds KpvifjtLS /cat tovs TrepLGKLaopiovs iv 
ots Stcu/cet rroOovaa tov tjXlov. hid /cat 7Tpos rd 

E epam/cd ttjv aeXrjvriv eVt/caAotWat, /cat rrjv ^laiv 
Euoofds* (f>r]OL fipafieveiv ra ipcortKd. /cat tovtois 
fxev dpLCoay €7tojs 5 rod ttlOclvov pLereart, twv oe 
Tv(f)tova ttolovvtojv tov rjXtov ou8* aKoveiv d£iov. 
'AAA' r)pL€is avOis tov oIkclov dvaXdfSojpLtv Xoyov. 
(53.) r) yap ^Iat? eart puev to rrjs <{>vg€ojs OrjXv, 
/cat SeKTiKOV aTrdurfS yevicreojs, Kado Tidr\vr\ /cat 
TTavbexrjs vtto tov HXaTwvos , vtto 8e tcov ttoXAlov 
pLvptojvvfios /ce/cA^rat, Std to 7rdaas vtto tov Xoyov 
TpeTTopLevTj piop<f>ds hzxeodai /cat loeas. e^et Se 
av(jL<j>VTOv epcoTa tov irpojTov /cat Kvpiajrarov 
TrdvTOjv, o TayaOcp TavTov cart /cd/cetvo iroBel /cat 

F StaS/cet* tt^ S' e/c rou /ca/cou cpevyei /cat 8ta>#€trat 

1 7TpO<JTp€7T€odai Madvig : 7TpOTp€7T€O0ai. 

2 iTpooQeois F.C.B. : TTpodeoLS. 3 oflev Markland: Iv. 

4 €/x<f>alp€o9aL Markland : ipb^aivovai. 

5 djUtooyeVoisr Markland : aAA^o? y€ rrco?. 

a C/. 888 A-end, tn/ro. 

& An attempt to connect "Oatpis and o Xtpto?? Cy. 
Diodorus, i. 11. 3-4. 
128 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 372 

reason which underlies each one of these offerings I 
will describe later. a They think that by means of all 
these they supplicate and serve the Sun. Yet, what 
need is there to collect many such things ? There are 
some who without reservation assert that Osiris is the 
Sun and is called the Dog-star (Sirius) by the Greeks b 
even if among the Egyptians the addition of the 
article has created some ambiguity in regard to the 
name ; and there are those who declare that Isis is 
none other than the Moon ; for this reason it is said 
that the statues of Isis that bear horns are imitations 
of the crescent moon, and in her dark garments are 
shown the concealments and the obscurations in which 
she in her yearning pursues the Sun. For this reason 
also they call upon the Moon in love affairs, and 
Eudoxus asserts that Isis is a deity who presides over 
love affairs. These people may lay claim to a certain 
plausibility, but no one should listen for a moment to 
those who make Typhon to be the Sun. 

But let us now take up again the proper subject 
of our discussion. (5S.) Isis is, in fact, the female 
principle of Nature, and is receptive of every form 
of generation, in accord with which she is called by 
Plato c the gentle nurse and the all-receptive, and 
by most people has been called by countless names, 
since, because of the force of Reason, she turns 
herself to this thing or that and is receptive of all 
manner of shapes and forms. She has an innate 
love for the first and most dominant of all things, 
which is identical with the good, and this she yearns 
for and pursues ; but the portion which comes from 
evil she tries to avoid and to reject, for she serves 

c Cf. Plato, Timaeus, 49 a and 51 a ; also Moralia, 
1014 d, 1015 d, and 1023 a. 

129 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

jioZpav, dfjL(f>OLV jxkv ovaa X^P a Kai ^Xrj, penovaa S' 
det Trpos to fHXriov e£ eavrrjs /cat irapexovoa yevvdv 
6/cetVoj 1 /cat Karaa7T€ip€iv els eavrrjv dnoppoas 2 /cat 

OfJLOLOTrjTCLS , at? X a ^P €C KaL ytyf)®* KVLGKOfieVYj /Cat 
V7T07TLIJL7TXa/.L€Vrj TO)V y€V€G€QJV . €LKtbv ydp IdTlV 

ovular ev vXrj yeVeat? /cat /xttzry/xa tov ovtos to 
ytyvojxevov . 
373 54. "Odev ovk ' drro Tpoirov [ivQoXoyovoi ttjv 
'OolptSos ifrvxty di$iov clvai /cat d(f>6apTov, to Se 
crd/na 77oAAa/ctS" hiaoTrav /cat d(f>ai f L^€tv tov Yv^cova, 
ttjv 8' ^Icrt^ irXavoj fievrjv /cat ^Tetv 3 /cat ovv- 
apfJLOTTetv 77aAtt\ to ydp ov /cat vorfTOV /cat 
dya#o> <f)9opas /cat fjieTafioXrjs KpeiTTOV ioTiv as* 
S' a7r' aurou to aloOrjTov /cat croj/xaTt/co> et/coVa? 
€KfxaTT€Tat, /cat Aoyous /cat etO?] /cat o/JLOLOTrjTas 
dVaAa/x/?dVet, Kaddnep eV Krjptp o(f>paylhes ovk del 
Siafjievovoiv, dXXd KaTaXafifidvei to dVa/CTOP' aurcs 
B /cat Tapaxdioes ivTavOa tt}? dya> ^woa? dTreXrjXa- 
\xivov /cat fxaxdfJievov rrpos tov T D.pov, ov rj r lacs 
€t/coVa tou vot)tov Koofxov cuodrjrov ovtol yevvq. 
otd /cat 8u<r)v <f)6vyeiv XeyeTai vodecas vtto Tv(f>wvos, 
d)S ovk a>v Kadapos oi)S' elXiKptvrjs otos* o 7raT-qp, 
Xoyos clvtos /ca0' €auTO> duty?)? /cat aTra^s", dAAd 
vevodevjxivos ttj vXtj Std to aaj/xaTt/coV. irepiyly- 
V€toli Se /cat VLK&* tov 'Kpfxov, tovt€Cttl tov Xoyov, 
jxapTvpovvTos /cat Set/cyuoyTOS* 6Vt 77-009 to votjtov 
7] <{>v<jis fX€Taoxyf^o:TL^o/x€V7] tov Koojjiov a77oSt'Sa>- 

1 €K€ivco Baxter: ckcivo. 

2 diroppoas the more common form : airoppoias. 

3 /cat {^Teiy] dva^rciv Mark land. 

4 a? Wyttenbach : riva?. 

5 ntpiyivtTai Sc /cat w*a Xylan der : rtepiyivovrai hk kqX w/cat. 

130 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 372-373 

them both as a place and means of growth, but in- 
clines always towards the better and offers to it 
opportunity to create from her and to impregnate her 
with effluxes and likenesses in which she rejoices and 
is glad that she is made pregnant and teeming with 
these creations. For creation is the image of being in 
matter, and the thing created is a picture of reality. 
54. It is not, therefore, out of keeping that they 
have a legend that the soul of Osiris is everlasting and 
imperishable, but that his body Typhon oftentimes 
dismembers and causes to disappear, and that Isis 
wanders hither and yon in her search for it, and fits 
it together again a ; for that which really is and is 
perceptible and good is superior to destruction and 
change. The images from it with which the sensible 
and corporeal is impressed, and the relations, forms, 
and likenesses which this takes upon itself, like im- 
pressions of seals in wax, are not permanently lasting, 
but disorder and disturbance overtakes them, being; 
driven hither from the upper reaches, and fighting 
against Horus, b whom Isis brings forth, beholden of 
all, as the image of the perceptible world. Therefore 
it is said that he is brought to trial by Typhon on 
the charge of illegitimacy, as not being pure nor un- 
contaminated like his father, reason unalloyed and 
unaffected of itself, but contaminated in his substance 
because of the corporeal element. He prevails, 
however, and wins the case when Hermes, 6 that is to 
say Reason, testifies and points out that Nature, by 
undergoing changes of form with reference to the 
perceptible, duly brings about the creation of the world. 

a Cf. 358 a, supra. b Cf. 358 d, supra. 

131 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(373) aw. rj fiev ydp, eri tcov detov iv yaarpl rfjs f Peas' 
ovtojv, i£ "IvlSos Kal 'Oalpi&os yevofxdvTJ 1 yiveois 
C * AttoXXwvos alvLTTerai to 7Tplv €K(j>avrj yeveodai 
rovoe top koojjlov Kal ovvTeXeodfjvai rco Xoyco 2 rrjv 
vXrjv, (f>v(7€i iXeyxojJbevrjv oltt avrrjs* areXrj rrjv 
TipojTT^v yivzoiv itjeveyKelv. 8 to /cat 0acrt tov deov 
£k€ivov avdnrr^pov vtto okotoj yevlodai, Kal irptofiv- 
repov T Qpov KaXovcrw ov yap rjv kogjjlos, aAA' 

€l8a)X6v TL Kal KOOfJLOV <£dVracrua jJLeXAoVTOS. 

55. f O S' T £lpos ovros avros Igtiv ojpiajxevos Kal 
TeXecos, ovk dvrjpr]Ka>s rov Tvcf)a>va rravr drr aaiv } 
dXXd to opaarrjpLov Kal laxvpov avrov Trapr)prj- 
fievos. o6ev iv KoTTTto to dyaXfia rod "Q.pov 
Xeyovarw eV rfj irepa x €l P L Tv<f>tovos atSota /car- 
4x<ew K <u tov 'Kpfjirjv fjLvdoXoyovaw i^eXovra rov 
D Tv(j>(x)vos rd vevpa ^opSats* xPV (ja(J ^ aL > oiSdoKovreg 
u)$ to ttolv 6 Xoyos hiappboodpLevos ovpificovov i£ 

aOVpL<f>d)Va)V jJL€pO)V iTTOLTjOe, Kal TTjV (f>6apTLK7}V OVK 

drrajXeaev aAA' dveTrrjpojoe* ovvafiiv. oOev €K€lvtj 
fi€v aoQevrjs Kal dopavrjs ivTavQa cfrvpopLevr) Kal 
TTpoanXeKopLevr] tois rraOrjTiKoZs Kal /xerajSoAt/cots 
pLepeai, 6 aecapLcov fiev iv yfj Kal Tpojxcov, avxP'&v 
S eV 6 dipt Kal TTVzvpLaTOJV aToinov, avOis he Trprj- 
(JTiqpajv Kal Kepavvtbv hrj/jiiovpyos eoTi. <$>ap\xaTT€i 
ok Kal XoifJLols vhara Kal TrvevpuaTa, Kal p>exP l 
oeXijvrjs dvaTpex €t Kat aVa^cuTi^ci auyvcouaa 7 Kal 
fxeXatvovoa TroXXaKts to XapbTrpov, ojs AiyviTTiok 

1 yevofxevrj] Acyo/xcVq Hartman. 

2 to) Xoyco Markland: tov Xoyov. 

3 an* avTrjs F.C.B. ; €<£' clvttjs Markland : eV avrrjv. 

4 av€7rrjp(A}G€ Baxter: aveTrX-qpayot. 

5 fxepeai Squire : fxeXcoi. 

132 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 373 

The birth of Apollo from Isis and Osiris, while these 
gods were still in the womb of Rhea, has the alle- 
gorical meaning that before this world was made vis 
ible and its rough material was completely formed by 
Reason, it was put to the test by Nature and brought 
forth of itself the first creation imperfect. This is the 
reason why they say that this god was born in the 
darkness a cripple, and they call him the elder Horus ° ; 
for there was then no world, but only an image and 
outline of a world to be. 

55. But this Horus is himself perfected and com- 
plete ; but he has not done away completely with 
Typhon, but has taken away his activity and strength. 
Hence they say that at Kopto the statue of Horus 
holds in one hand the privy members of Typhon, and 
they relate a legend that Hermes cut out the sinews 
of Typhon, and used them as strings for his lyre, 
thereby instructing us that Reason adjusts the 
Universe and creates concord out of discordant 
elements, and that it does not destroy but only 
cripples the destructive force. Hence this is weak 
and inactive here, and combines with the susceptible 
and changeable elements and attaches itself to them, 
becoming the artificer of quakes and tremblings in 
the earth, and of droughts and tempestuous winds 
in the air, and of liffhtning-flashes and thunderbolts. 
Moreover, it taints waters and winds with pestilence, 
and it runs forth wanton even as far as the moon, 
oftentimes confounding and darkening the moon's 
brightness ; according to the belief and account of 

• Cf. 356 a, svpra. 



6 5* iv Xylandcr: /cat ev. 
avyx^ovoa Baxter : ovv€\ovaa. 

133 



PLUTARCH'S MORALTA 

E vojilt.ovoi Kal Xeyovotv, on rod "Qpov vvv fiev 
errarage, vvv o eg eAa>v Karernev o 1 vcpwv rov 
6<f>6aXfi6v, etra rco rjXlco rrdXtv arre8ojKe* TrXrjyrjv 
fi€v alviTTOfievoL rrjv Kara pjrjva [leiiooiv rrjg oe- 
Xrjvrjs> rrrjptooiv 8e rrjv ehcXeupiv, rjv 6 rjXcos carat 
Stacfrvyovorj 1 rrjv crtaav rrjs yrjs evdvs dvnXdjiTTOJV . 

56. 'H 8e Kpeirrcov Kal Oetorepa <f>vais eK rpicov 
eon, rov vorjrov Kal rrjs vXrjs Kal rov eK rovrajv, 
F ov Koofiov "EXXrjves ovofxd^ovoiv. 6 fiev ovv 
WXdrcov ro fiev vorjrov Kal ISeav Kal 7rapaSeiy/xa 
Kal rrarepa, rrjv 8 vXrjv Kal firjrepa Kal nOrjvrjv 
eopav re Kai \ojpav yeveoeojs , ro 8 e£ dfi(f>oiv 
eKyovov 2 Kal yeveocv ovofid^etv elajQev. 

Alyvrrriovs 8* dv ns eiKaoete rcov rpiycovajv ro 
KaXXiorov njAav* fidXtora rovroj rrjv rod rravros 
(f>voiv ofjLOiovvrag, cus 4 Kal UXdrajv iv rfj YloXir eta 
Sok€l rovrco rrpooKexprjodac ro yaparjXiov Sidypafjufxa 
ovvrdrratv. k\et 8' eKeivo ro rplyojvov rpttov rrjv 
npos SpOtav Kal rerrdpcov rrjv fidotv Kal rrevre 
374 rrjv vrroreivovoav toov rats rreptey^ovoats 8vvajievrjv . 
etKaoreov ovv rrjv fiev irpos opOds 6 dppevt, rrjv 8e 
fidmv OrjXeta, rrjv 8* vrroreivovoav dfi<f>otv eyyovto, 
/ecu rov fiev Vjotptv cos apxrjv, rrjv o low cos 
V7To8oxr)v, rov 8' T Clpov cos arroreXeofia. ra fiev 
yap rpia rrpcoros rreptrros eon Kal reXetos' ra 
8e rerrapa rerpdycovos drro rrXevpas dpriov rrjs 
8vd8os' ra 8e rrevre rrfj fiev rco rrarpl rrfj 8e rrj 

1 Sia</nryovajj Bentley : hia<f>vyovar)s. 
2 tzKyovov EmperiuS ; zyyovov. 

8 Titidv added by Michael and F.C.B. 

4 ws Markland: <L. 

5 opdas] SpOtav Reiske. 

134 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 373-374 

the Egyptians, Typhon at one time smites the eye 
of Horus, and at another time snatches it out and 
swallows it, and then later gives it back again to the 
Sun. By the smiting, they refer allegorically to the 
monthly waning of the moon, and by the crippling, to 
its eclipse/ 1 which the Sun heals by shining straight 
upon it as soon as it has escaped the shadow of the 
earth. 

56. The better and more divine nature consists of 
three parts : the conceptual, the material, and that 
which is formed from these, which the Greeks call the 
world. Plato b is wont to give to the conceptual the 
name of idea, example, or father, and to the material 
the name of mother or nurse, or seat and place of 
generation, and to that which results from both the 
name of offspring or generation. 

One might conjecture that the Egyptians hold in 
high honour the most beautiful of the triangles, since 
they liken the nature of the Universe most closely to 
it, as Plato in the Republic d seems to have made use of 
it in formulating his figure of marriage. This triangle 
has its upright of three units, its base of four, and its 
hypotenuse of five, whose power is equal to that of 
the other two sides/ The upright, therefore, may be 
likened to the male, the base to the female, and the 
hypotenuse to the child of both, and so Osiris may be 
regarded as the origin, Isis as the recipient, and Horus 
as perfected result. Three is the first perfect odd 
number : four is a square whose side is the even 
number two ; but f\\e is in some ways like to its 
father, and in some ways like to its mother, being 

° Cf. 368 f, supra. b Plato, Timaeus, 50 c-n. 

c Cf. 393 d, infra. d Plato, Republic, 546 b-c. 

• Cf. 429 e, infra. 

135 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

[ 374) jJiTfrpl TTpoaeoiKev, Ik rptdSog ovyKetpbeva Kal Sua- 
Sos 1 . /cat ra Trdvra t(ov rrevre yeyove Trapojvvpia, 
/cat to apid/jL-qcraaOat TrepLrrdoaodai Xeyovcrw. 
novel 8e rerpdytovov rj irevrds d(/>' eavrrjs, ooov 

B tu)v ypapLfjidTcov Trap 9 PslyvTrriots to ttXtjOos eoTi, 
Kal ooojv eviavTtov e^rj y^povov 6 "' 'Am?. 

Tov 1 puev ovv T Qpov elojOacri Kal Mlv 2 TTpoa- 
ayopevecv, oirep 1(jtIv opwpevov aloOrjTov yap /cat 
opaTov o koojjlos. rj o lots eoTiv oTe /cat Movu 
Kal TrdXiv "Advpt Kal hledvep rxpooayopeveTa? - 
arj/jbaivovui Se to> p,ev irpojTCp tcov ovopuaTajv 
fxrjT€pa' to) Se SevTepcp oIkov "Q,pov Kocrpuov, d>s 
Kal YiXaTOjv yclopav yeveoeojs Kal oe£apLevrjv to he 
Tpvrov ovvQeTov eoTiv €K Te tov irXrjpovs Kai tov 
acTiov*- TrXrjprjs yap Iotiv rj vXrj tov Koopiov Kal tco 
dyaOco Kal Kadapto Kal KeKoapnqpevco ovveoTiv. 

C 57. Ao^ete S' av loojs Kal 'Hat'oSo? ra rrpcoTa 
rravTa 5 x a °S Kat YV V KCLL TapTapov /cat epojTa jtoiGjv 
ovx eTepas XapifidveLv apxds, dXXd TavTas? eV hrj 
twv ovopbaTOJV Trj p,ev "IatSt to ttjs yrjs , ra) S* 
'0o-(/>t8t to tov epojTos, to) he Tv<f)(JL)Vl TO TOV 
TapTapov pueTaXapfidvovTes ttojs 8 dTrohihopiev' to 
yap x&os hoKel x c ^ J P av Twd Kal tottov tov rravTos 
VTroTiQeoBat. 

UpoaKaXeiTat oe Kal tov YlXaTOJVos dpojoyerrojg 
ra 7rpay/xara pivOov, ov HojKpaTTjs ev T,vp,7rooitp 
nepl ttjs tov "EpojTos yeveoeojs hirjXOe, tt)v Ylevlav 
Xeyojv TeKvojv heopbevrjv Tip Ilopai Ka6ev§ovTL 

1 6 *Ams. tov Xylander, confirmed by one ms. : o amo-rov 
most mss. 

2 Kal Mlv Pinder and one ms. : KaCp.iv. 

3 irpoaayop€V€Tai Basel ed. of 1542: Trpoaayopevovai, 

4 olItlov] dyadov Markland ; apriov Reiske (ayiov?). 
136 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 374 

made up of three and two. a And panta (all) is a 
derivative of pente (five), and they speak of counting 
as " numbering by fives." b Five makes a square of 
itself, as many as the letters of the Egyptian alphabet, 
and as many as the years of the life of the Apis. 

Horus they are wont to call also Min, which means 
" seen " ; for the world is something perceptible and 
visible, and Isis is sometimes called Muth, and again 
Athyri or Methyer. By the first of these names they 
signify " mother," by the second the mundane house 
of Horus, the place and receptacle of generation, as 
Plato c has it, and the third is compounded of " full " 
and " cause " ; for the material of the world is full, 
and is associated with the good and pure and orderly. 

57. It might appear that Hesiod, d in making the 
very first things of all to be Chaos and Earth and 
Tartarus and Love, did not accept any other origins 
but only these, if we transfer the names somewhat 
and assign to Isis the name of Earth and to Osiris the 
name of Love and to Typhon the name of Tartarus ; 
for the poet seems to place Chaos at the bottom as 
a sort of region that serves as a resting-place for the 
Universe. 

This subject seems in some wise to call up the myth 
of Plato, which Socrates in the Symposium e gives at 
some length in regard to the birth of Love, saying 
that Poverty, wishing for children, insinuated herself 

° Cf. Moralidt 264 a, and Rose, Plutarch's Roman Ques- 
tions^. 170. 

6 Cf. 387 e and 429 d-f, infra. 

c Plato, Timaeus, 52 d-53 a. Cf. also Moralia, 882 c and 
1023 a. 
d Theogony, 116-122. e Plato, Symposium, 203 b. 

5 7ravra] iravroyv Baxter. 6 ravras] ras aura? Halm. 

7 et F.C.B. ; etye Xylander : ye. 8 nets Reiske : a>9. 

137 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(374) TrapaKXiOrjvaiy Kal Kvrjcraoav e£ avrov TeKelv tov 
D "Eparra, (f>voei jx€LKtov 1 ovtcl Kal TravToha-nov , are 
Sr) irarpos puev dyadov /cat ao<f>ov Kal iraoiv avr- 
dpKovs, fJLr]Tp6s 8' ajJL-qx&vov Kal drropov Kal St' 
cVSetav del yAt^o/xeVr^ erepov Kal ire pi erepov 
XiTTapovarjs yeyevy)p.evov . 6 yap Ft 6po$ oi>x erepos 

€GTL TOV TTpOJTOV ipaTOV 2 Kal €(f)€TOV Kal TcAetOU Kal 

avrdpKovs* Ilcvtav Se ttjv vAtjv TTpooeZrTev, eVSed 
pAv ovoav avrrjv Ka6 eavTrjv tov dyadov, 7rArjpov- 
pi€vr)v 8' V7r 9 avrov Kal TToOovoav del Kal /zeraAa/z- 
fidvovaav. 6 Se yevopevos eV tovtojv Koopos Kal 
T Qpos ovk dihios ouS' diTadrjs ouS' d<f>6apTos t aAA' 
E deiyevr]s tov /zr/xavarat rat? tcov rradcov /zera/JoAats* 
Kal irepiohois del veos Kal pa^oeTrore <f)9apr)aopievos 
hiapevew. 

58. yipiqareov Se rots pivOois ov% ojs Aoyois 
irdpnxav ovoiv, aAAa to irpoo^opov e/«zaTou to Kara? 
Trjv o/xoLOTrjra AapLJidvovras . orav ovv vArjv Aeya)- 
p,ei>, ov Set Trpos eviojv <f>iXoo6<j>cov Sd^a? a7TO(f)epo~ 
pcevovs axjtvxov Ti acopua Kal diroiov dpyov re Kal 
airpaKTOv e£ eavrov hiavoelodai- Kal yap eXaiov 
vAi)v ptvpov KaAovpiev , xpvoov dydAparos, ovk ovra 
irdcrqs epv)p,a 7Toi6rrjros A '* avTT\v re tt)v *l* v xh v Kat 
Frrjv Stdvouav tov dv0pa>7rov cu? vArju enrioTr\pjr\s Kal 
dperfjs rep Aoyco KoapLelv Kal pvdpLL^ecv irapexopLev 
rov t€ vovv eviot tottov et'8a)i> 6 aTTe<j>r]vavTO Kal rwv 
votjtcjv otov e/c/zayetov. 

1 ficiKTov Xylander : paKpov. 

2 €parov Markland : ipaarov, 

3 to Kara] Kara Wyttenbach. 

4 7toi6tt}tos Xylander : o^oidrijToy. 
5 cc&Si/] l8«ou S(\ u ire. 

138 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 374 

beside Plenty while he was asleep, and having become 
pregnant by him, gave birth to Love, who is of a mixed 
and utterly variable nature, inasmuch as he is the son 
of a father who is good and wise and self-sufficient in 
all things, but of a mother who is helpless and without 
means and because of want always clinging close to 
another and always importunate over another. For 
Plenty is none other than the first beloved and de- 
sired, the perfect and self-sufficient ; and Plato calls 
raw material Poverty, utterly lacking of herself in 
the Good, but being filled from him and always 
yearning for him and sharing with him. The World, 
or Horus, a which is born of these, is not eternal nor 
unaffected nor imperishable, but, being ever reborn, 
contrives to remain always young and never subject 
to destruction in the changes and cycles of events. 

58. We must not treat legend as if it were history 
at all, but we should adopt that which is appropriate 
in each legend in accordance with its verisimilitude. 
Whenever, therefore, we speak of material we must 
not be swept away to the opinions of some philo- 
sophers, 6 and conceive of an inanimate and indiffer- 
entiated body, which is of itself inert and inactive. 
The fact is that we call oil the material of perfume 
and gold the material of a statue, and these are not 
destitute of all differentiation. We provide the very 
soul and thought of Man as the basic material of 
understanding and virtue for Reason to adorn and to 
harmonize, and some have declared the Mind to be 
a place for the assembling of forms and for the im- 
pression of concepts, as it were. c 

° Cf. 373 d, supra. 

b Cf. 370 f, supra, and Diogenes Laertius, vii. 134. 

c Cf. Aristotle, De Anima, iii. 4 (429 a 27). 

139 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

"Evtot Se /cat to oW/sua rrjs yvvaiKos ov SvvafJLiv 
ov8* 0LPXV V > vXtjv Se /cat rpo(f>rjv yevecreojs etvai 
So^d^ovaw. &v 6%0/xeVous' XPV K(lL T V V ® € ° p TC WT7p 
ovrco hiavoeiodai rod Trpcorov 6eov pLeraAayxdvov- 
oav del /cat avvovaav epojri ra>v irepl eKelvov 
375 ayadcov /cat kclX&v, oi>x vnevavriav dAX axjirep 
avSpa vofjufiov /cat St/catov epav dv St/cata/? crvvfj 1 
/cat yvvaiKd xp y ] ar ^] v ^X OVGav tt^S/aa /cat ovvovoav 
Ofjicus rrodelv Xeyopuev, ovrcos del yXiyp{xevr)v eKelvov 

/Cat 7T€pl €K€lVOV AlTTCLpOVOaV* /Cat dvaTTLfJLTTXapLevrjV 

rots' Kvptcordroig \iepeoiv /cat Kadapcordroig' 
(59.) 07TOV S o Tu<^cuv TTapepLTTLTTret rcov eoxdrojv 

d7TT6jJL€VOS , ivTdvda hoKOVOCLV €7TLCJKV dpOJTfd t,€LV KCU 

7rev9eiv Xeyofjuev-qv /cat Xeiifjav* drra /cat onapdy- 
/xara rov 'OcrtptSo? dra^rety /cat <7ToAi£eu>, U7TO- 
hexojjievrjv ra ^etpofieva /cat aTTOKpvrrrovoav , 
B wvrrep* dva<f>aivei rrdXiv rd yiyvofieva /cat dvir\oiv 
i£ eavrijs. 

Ot iteV yap eV ovpavco Kal dorpois Xoyoi /cat et'S^ 
/cat diroppoal rov 9eov pLevovcri, ra Se rot? nadr]- 
tlkoIs SteaTiapaeVa, y^ /cat 9aXdrrrj /cat (f>vroZs /cat 
£a>ot?, StaAuoue^a 4 /cat <^0etpop,eva /cat 9a7tro\xeva i 
TroAAa/cts" 5 av9i$ e/cAd/xrret /cat dva^alverai rat? yeve- 
oeoi. hid rov Tvcf>a>va rfj Ne(f>9vi avvotKelv <j>rjcnv 
6 p.vdos, rov S' "Ocrtpti' Kpvcfxi avyyeveo9at. ra 
yap ea^ara /xep^ 7-77? vXrjs, a Ne<j>9vv /cat TeAeurry^ 
/caAouaty, 97 <f)9aprLKrj /xaAtcrra /caTe'xet StW/xts" 

1 av BiKaltos ovvrj Bernardakis, c/. 448 e: cv Si/caioowg. 

2 Anrapovoav Markland : -napovoav. 

3 cov7T6p F.C.B. ; olo7T€p Schwartz : axj-rrcp. 

4 SiaAudjLteva Baxter : SiaAeyo/neva. 

5 7roAAa/ct? Markland: KairoAAaKis. 

140 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 374-375 

Some think the seed of Woman is not a power or 
origin, but only material and nurture of generation. 
To this thought we should cling fast and conceive that 
this Goddess also who participates always with the 
first God and is associated with him in the love b of 
the fair and lovely things about him is not opposed 
to him, but, just as we say that an honourable and 
just man is in love if his relations are just, and a good 
woman who has a husband and consorts with him we 
say yearns for him ; thus we may conceive of her as 
always clinging close to him and being importunate 
over him and constantly filled with the most domi- 
nant and purest principles. (59-) But where Typhon 
forces his way in and seizes upon the outermost areas, 
there we may conceive of her as seeming sad, and 
spoken of as mourning, and that she seeks for the 
remains and scattered members of Osiris and arrays 
them, receiving and hiding away the things perish- 
able, from which she brings to light again the things 
that are created and sends them forth from herself. 

The relations and forms and effluxes of the God 
abide in the heavens and in the stars ; but those things 
that are distributed in susceptible elements, earth 
and sea and plants and animals, suffer dissolution and 
destruction and burial, and oftentimes again shine 
forth and appear again in their generations. For this 
reason the fable has it that Typhon cohabits with 
Nephthys c and that Osiris has secret relations with 
her d ; for the destructive power exercises special 
dominion over the outermost part of matter which 
they call Nephthys or Finality. e But the creating 

° Cf. Moralia, 651 c, and 905 c. 

b Cf. 372 e, and 383 a, infra. 

c Cf. 356 a, supra. d Cf. the note on 356 e, supra. 

e Cf. 355 f and 366 b, supra. 

141 



PLUTARCH'S MORALTA 

(375) rj he yovifios Kal ocDrrjpios doOeves OTreppLa Kal 

C dfiavpov el? tolvtol hcahihojcnv, drroXXvixevov 1 vrro 

tov Tv<f>ajvo$ , ttXtjv ooov r) *\ois VTroXafifidvovaa 

OOJ^ei Kal Tp€(/)€l KOLL OVvLorrjOl. 

60. Ka#oAot> S' d\xelv ojv ovtos eoTtv, ojorrep Kal 
TlXdrcov virovoel Kal * ApiOTOTeXt)s . Kivevrai he rrjs 

<f>VG€0>$ TO fl€V yOvi/JLOV Kal OOJTTjpiOV CTT* aVTOV Kal 

Trpos to etvat, to 8* dvaipeTiKov Kal <f>QapTiKov (xtt' 2 
ai)Tov Kal 7rpos to pofj eivai. olo to p,ev law Ka- 
Xovorc rrapa to ceoOac /jl€t eVtcrr^/XTys* Kal (fyepeadat, 
Kivrjocv ovoav epafjv)(ov Kal </>p6vLfjiov. ov yap eoTi 
Tovvofia fiapfiaptKov, dXX* ojoirep toZs deols iraoiv 
and Svolv prjpidTOjv 3 tov OeaTOV Kal tov OeovTOs 
D €otlv ovo\ia koivov, ovtoj tj]v Oeov Tavrrjv drro ttjs 
iTTLOTrjfirjs dfJLa Kal Trjs KLvrjcreoJs r \oiv fiev rjjjLeis, 
*\oiv 8' AlyvTTTLOL KaXovoiv . ovtoj he Kal WXaTCOV 
<f>rjcrl Ti]v ovolav* hrjXovv tov? rraXatovs " iortav* 
KaXovvTas' ovtoj Kai ttjv votjoiv Kal ttjv §povf)aiv y 
co? vov (f)opdv Kal kIvt)oiv ovoav lepievov Kal (f>epo- 
\ievov y Kal to* ovvievai Kal TayaOov oXojs Kal dpe- 
tt\v iirl toIs del peovoC Kal Oeovai deodar KaOdrrep 
av rrdXiv tois dvTt,(f)Ojvovaw ovopLaoi Xoihopeiadat 
to KaKov* to tt]v <f>vaiv ifJLTToSi^ov Kal avvheov Kal 

1 a7roXXvfj,€vov Bentley : dnoXXvpLcvrj or ~p.cvovs» 

2 air* Squire : vir\ 

3 prjfidrcov Markland : ypap.p.drcjv. 

4 ovotav Baxter from Plato, Cratylus, 401 c: oalav. 

5 la lav] iaalav or iolav in Plato, ibid. 

6 to Baxter: rod. 

7 del ptouai Goodwin from Plato, Cratylus % Ho d: cvpovoi. 

142 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 375 

and conserving power distributes to this only a weak 
and feeble seed, which is destroyed by Typhon, 
except so much as Isis takes up and preserves and 
fosters and makes firm and strong. 

60. In general this god is the better, as both Plato 
and Aristotle conceive. The creative and conserving 
clement of Nature moves toward him and toward 
existence while the annihilating and destructive 
moves away from him towards non-existence. For 
this reason they call Isis by a name derived from 
11 hastening " (kiemai) with understanding, 6 or being 
borne onward (pheromai), since she is an animate and 
intelligent movement ; for the name is not a foreign 
name, but, just as all the gods have a name in 
common c derived from two words, " visible " (theaton) 
and " rushing " (theon), in the same way this goddess, 
from her understanding b and her movement, we call 
Isis and the Egyptians call her Isis. So also Plato d 
says that the men of ancient times made clear the 
meaning of " essence " (pusia) by calling it " sense " 
(isia). So also he speaks of the intelligence and 
understanding as being a carrying and movement 
of mind hasting and being carried onward ; and also 
comprehension and good and virtue they attribute 
to those things which are ever flowing and in rapid 
motion, just as again, on the other hand, by means of 
antithetical names they vilified evil : for example, that 
which hinders and binds fast and holds and checks 

a Cf. 356 f, supra. 

h Cf. 351 f, supra. 

e Cf. Plato, Cratylus, 397 d. 

d Ibid. 401 c. 

8 to kclkov Wyttcnbach from Plato, Cratylus, 415 c: nov 
Kara. 

143 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(375) "g^ov Kal kojXvov teo0at /cat t'eVat kolklclv airoplav 
heiXiav aviav npoorayopevovTas. 1 

61 . c O S* "Ocnpis e/c tov ooiov Kal 2 lepov Tovvoua 
fiepLetyfJievov eo^/cc* kolvos yap iari tojv eV ovpavG) 

E /Cat TCOV €V "AlSoV X6yOS' <1>V TOL ukv L€pOL TO. 8' 

ocrta rots' TraAatots* e#os 3 fjv irpoaayopzvtLV . o 8' 
ava<f>aiv(x)v rd ovpdvia /cat ra>v avoj <£epoueVa>y 
Xoyos "Ayou/Jts*, 4 edrt S' ore /cat 'KpfJidvov^ts ovo- 
pLa^erou, to fiev <hs toZs dva) to S' ws rots* /cara) 
TTpoorjKOiv. Std /cat Ovovoiv avTa> to /xe> XevKov 
aXeKTpvova, to Se 5 KpoKiav , tol fxev elXiKpivfj /cat 
</>avd, tol ok ju,et/crd /cat 7rot/ct'Aa vopui^ovTes . 

Ou Set 8e 9avp,dl,€iv twv 6vop,aTOJV ttjv ets* rd 
'EAA^^t/cd^ dva7rAac7ti>- /cat yap dAAa p,vpia rots' 
/xefltora/xeVots* e/c r^Js* 'EAAdSo? owe/C7recr6Vra p<£xP l 
F iw 7TapafJL€V€t /cat £evtreuet nap* ereoots, ojj> eVta 
r^y 7TOLrjTLKrjv avaKaXovp,€vrfV hiafidXXovow wg 
fiapfiapi^ovoav ol yXwTTas tol rotavra 6 7Tpoo- 
ayopzvovT€s. eV Se rats- 'Ep/xou Xeyopuevats j8t/?Aots* 
iGTOpovai yeypd(f>d at ire pi t&v lepwv 6vo\iaToyv , ort 
r^y /xey eVt rrjs* ro£> rjXtov rr€pi(f>opds T€Tay\xivr\v 
Svvapuv T Q,pov, W EAA^V€S' 8' 'A7ToAAojva KaXovav 
ttjv 8' €77t rot? TTvevjjiaTos ol pikv "Qmpiv, ol Se 

1 irpoaayopevovras Reiske : Trpooayopevovrwv. 

2 /cat added in the Aldine ed. 

3 t9os added by Markland. 

4 Xoyos "Avovfiis Reiske : avovfiis Xoyos. 

5 to fih . . . to he Reiske : tov p,ev . . . tov he. 

6 tol Toiavra Xylander : tols ToiavTas. 

Cf. 376 d, infra. It is impossible, to reproduce these 
fanciful derivations in an English translation. Most of them 
may be found in Plato, Cratylus, 401 c-415e. Note that 
Plutarch would connect the abstract suffix -ia with the 
shorter stem of elfii ** go." 
144 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 375 

Nature from hasting and going they called baseness, 
or " ill -going " (kak-ia), and helplessness or " diffi- 
culty of going " (apor-ia), and cowardice or " fear of 
going'' (cleil-ia), and distress or "not going" (an-ia). a 

61. Osiris has a name made up from " holy " (hosiori) 
and " sacred " (hieron) b ; for he is the combined rela- 
tion of the things in the heavens and in the lower 
world, the former of which it was customary for 
people of olden time to call sacred and the latter to 
call holy. But the relation which discloses the things 
in the heavens and belongs to the things which tend 
upward is sometimes named Anubis and sometimes 
Hermanubis c as belonging in part to the things above 
and in part to the things below. d For this reason 
they sacrifice to him on the one hand a white cock 
and on the other hand one of saffron colour, regarding 
the former things as simple and clear, and the others 
as combined and variable. 

There is no occasion to be surprised at the re- 
vamping of these words into Greek.* The fact is that 
countless other words went forth in company with 
those who migrated from Greece, and persist even to 
this day as strangers in strange lands ; and, when the 
poetic art would recall some of these into use, those 
who speak of such words as strange or unusual falsely 
accuse it of using barbarisms. Moreover, they record 
that in the so-called books of Hermes it is written in 
regard to the sacred names that they call the power 
which is assigned to direct the revolution of the Sun 
Horus, but the Greeks call it Apollo ; and the power 
assigned to the wind some call Osiris and others 

Cf. 382 e, infra. 
.Porphyry in Eusebius, Praepar. Evang. iii. 11. 2. 
Cf. 368 e, supra. • Cf. 362 d-e, supra. 

145 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

376 2a/HZ7Uv\ 77 Se 1 Scots' 2 Alyumriori 077/xcuWi kvt]- 
olv fj to Kvelv Sid Kal irapaTpoTTfjs yevopbevrjs tov 
ovofJLaros 'EAA^viori kvojv /c€/cA7?tcu to acrTpov, 
orrep tStov tt}s "IglSos vopLL^ovaw . r\KiOTa fi€v ovv 

0€l <t>l\oTip,€lo6ai 7T€pl T&V OPOfJLGLTtOV, OV fJLTJV dAAd 

pL&AAov v<f>eipLrjv 3 aV 4 tov Hapa7noog AlyvrrTLOts 
tj tov 'Oat/nSc*?, tKeivo p,kv* ^eviKov, tovto 8' 
f EAA^vt/coV, dfxcf>oj '8' evog deov Kal pads Svvdpieojs 
yyovpLevos. 

62. "Kolk€ 8e tovtols Kal tol AlyvTTTia. ttjv puev 
ydp r laiv 7roAAaKLs Tip ttjs AOrjvas 6vop,aTi KaAovcn 
<f>pd£ovTt toiovtov Aoyov " rjAOov an ipLavTrjs" 

B OTT€p luTLV aVTOKlVTJTOV (j>Opds SrjAoJTLKOW 6 Sc 

Tv<f>d)V, tboTT€p eiprjTai, ^rjd Kal Be'jScoy /cat 2/xt) 
ovo/xa^erai, jSiaidv rtva Kal kojAvtiktjv €7Tia^eatv rf 

V7T€VaVTLO)GlV Tj dvaOTpO(f)7]V £pL<f)aLv€lV f5ovAopL€VO)V 
TCOV ovopiaTcov . 

"En ttjv OLO-qplTtv AiOov ootIov "Clpov, Tvcfrtovos 
Se tov aiorjpov, d)s loToptl Wlaveddis, 1 koAovow 
tbcnrep yap 6 aioripos iroAAaKis pXv £Ako[jl€Voj Kal 
eVo/xeVa; 7Tp6$ ttjv AiOov opLOLOs €<m, 7ToAAaKig 8' 
air ogt pe<f)€T at Kal airoKpovcTai rrpos tovvovt'iov , 
ovTtos tj orojTrjpLog Kal dyadrj Kal Aoyov k^ovaa tov 
Koapuov KLvrjGLS i7TiCFTp€<j)€L 7tot€ 8 Kal TTpooayeTai 
C Kal piaAaKWTepav 9 notel, ireiOovaa ttjv CFKArjpdv 1 * 

1 $ 8k F.C.B. : ol 81 

8 X&dis F.C.B. : owdi. 

8 v<f>€ifir]v Bentley : v<j>iejji4vqv. 

4 av Emperius. 

5 ficv Markland : iikv ovv. 

6 7) added by F.C.B. (rj tip' Pohlenz). 

7 Mavedobs Squire : tidvedos. 

8 €7riorp€<l>€L irork F.C.B. : €7TtaTp€(j>€L Tore in one MS., £m- 
oTp€<f>€Tal tc in the rest. 

146 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 376 

Serapis , *nd Sothis in Egyptian signifies " preg- 
nancy " (cyesis) or " to be pregnant " (cyein) : there- 
fore in Greek, with a change of accents the star is 
called the Dog-star (Cyon), which they regard as the 
special star of Isis. & Least of all is there any need 
of being very eager in learning about these names. 
However, I would rather make a concession to the 
Egyptians in regard to Serapis than in regard to 
Osiris ; for I regard Serapis as foreign, but Osiris as 
Greek, and both as belonging to one god and one 
power. 

62. Like these also are the Egyptian beliefs ; for 
they oftentimes call Isis by the name of Athena, 
expressive of some such idea as this, " I came of 
myself," which is indicative of self-impelled motion. 
Typhon, as has been said, c is named Seth and Bebon 
and Smu, and these names would indicate some forcible 
and preventive check or opposition or reversal. d 

Moreover, they call the loadstone the bone of Horus, 
and iron the bone of Typhon, as Manetho e records. 
For, as the iron oftentimes acts as if it were being 
attracted and drawn toward the stone, and often- 
times is rejected and repelled in the opposite direction, 
in the same way the salutary and good and rational 
movement of the world at one time, by persuasion, 
attracts and draws toward itself and renders more 

° Plutarch attempts to connect kvcjp, " dog," with kvu>v, 
the present participle of kvo), " to be pregnant." 
b Cf. 359 c-e and 365 f, supra. 
c 367 d and 371 a, supra. 
d Cf. 371 b, supra. e Frag. 77. 



9 fiaXaKojTepav Keiske : fiaXaKcorepov. 
10 ok\tip<lv . . . tv<J)U)V€lov Ma rk land: oKX-qpiav . . . Tu<f>cuviov. 

147 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(376) €K€lvt)v Kal TV(f)a)V€iov , etr avQis dvaaxedetaa €*£ 
iavTTjv avearpeifje 1 Kal KareSvoev et? rr)v aTroplav. 
"Etc <f>7]ol 7T€pl rod Atd? 6 Ev8o£os yivdoXoyelv 

AlyVTTTlOVS, <I)S TOJV OKeXwV GVfJLTTefivKOTCUV avrcp 

fjirj $vvdfji€Vos j8aSt'£etv, vtt' ato^u^? e^ 2 iprjfjila 
hiirpifiev rj S* *Iaig Scare fiovoa Kal Scaarrjoaoa 
ra p^eprj ravra rod acLfiaros dprcrroSa rr)v uopeiav 
7Tap€<j-)(€v . alvLrrerac he /cat Std rovrojv 6 p,d9o$ 
on kcl9 eavrdv 6 rod deod vods kcu Xoyos ev 
rep aopdrco Kal d(j>avel fiefirjKcbs el$ yeveow* vtto 
Kwrjaeajs irporjXOev, 

63. 'E/xc^atWt /cat to oecorpov, on aeceoOac Set 
rd bvra /cat paqherrore iraveoQai <f>opas y dXX* olov 
e^eyecpeodai Kal KXoveloOac Karahapddvovra Kal 

D fJLapaivofJLeva. rov yap Tv<f>a>vd <f>aoi rots' oecarpocs 
drrorperTecv Kal drroKpovecrdat hrjXovvres ore rrjs 
<f)6opas ovvheovarjs Kal lordo-qs, avdes aVaAuet rr)v 
<f)voiv Kal dviorrjoc Std rrjs Kcvr]oeo}s r) yeveocs* 

Tod 8e oecorpov 7repc(f)epods dvaydev ovros, rj 
dipls 4, irepil^ei rd aecopceva rerrapa. Kal yap r) 
yevva)\ievr] Kal ^Oecpofxevrj pcolpa rod koojjlov nepc- 
€^€Tat pcev vtto rrjs oeXrjvcaKrjs o<f>acpas, Kcvecrac 8 
ev avrrj irdvra Kal /jcerafidXXerac Sta rtov rerrdpeov 
oroiyeloyvy uvpbs Kal yrjs Kal vharos Kal depos* 
rfj S* aiffihi rod oecorpov /card Kopv<f>r)v evropevov- 

E ocv alXovpov dvdpd>7Tov Trpooajrrov k'xovra, Karcv S* 
vtto ra aecopceva rrfj pcev "IatSos' 7rfj he Necf)9vos 
TrpooojTTov, acvcrropcevoc rots [lev Trpooamois yeveocv 
Kal reXevrrjv (avrai yap elac rihv arocx^ca>v pcera- 

1 dvtorpeipc] airecr p€ifi€ Holwerda. 
2 iv added by Wyttenbach. 
3 y4v€oiv\ yevvrjoiv Hartman. 4 aifils Aldine ed. : oipts* 

148 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 376 

gentle that harsh and Typhonian movement, and then 
again it gathers itself together and reverses it and 
plunges it into difficulties. 

Moreover, Eudoxus says that the Egyptians have 
a mythical tradition in regard to Zeus that, because 
his legs were grown together, he was not able to 
walk, and so, for shame, tarried in the wilderness ; 
but Isis, by severing and separating those parts of his 
body, provided him with means of rapid progress. 
This fable teaches by its legend that the mind and 
reason of the god, fixed amid the unseen and in- 
visible, advanced to generation by reason of motion. 

63. The sistrum (rattle) also makes it clear that 
all things in existence need to be shaken, or rattled 
about, and never to cease from motion but, as it were, 
to be waked up and agitated when they grow drowsy 
and torpid. They say that they avert and repel 
Typhon by means of the sistrums, indicating thereby 
that when destruction constricts and checks Nature, 
generation releases and arouses it by means of motion. a 

The upper part of the sistrum is circular and its 
circumference contains the four things that are 
shaken ; for that part of the world which undergoes 
reproduction and destruction is contained underneath 
the orb of the moon, and all things in it are subjected 
to motion and to change through the four elements : 
fire, earth, water, and air. At the top of the circum- 
ference of the sistrum they construct the figure of a 
cat with a human face, and at the bottom, below the 
things that are shaken, the face of Isis on one side, 
and on the other the face of Nephthys. By these 
faces they symbolize birth and death, for these are 
the changes and movements of the elements ; and by 

° C/. 375 «, supra. 

149 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

jSoAat /cat Kivrjoets), tlo 8' alXovpco rrjv aeXrjVYjv Stct 
to ttoikIXov /cat WKTOVpyov /cat yovijjLov rod drjpiov. 
Aeyerat yap ev tlkt€lv, etra ovo /cat Tpia /cat recr- 
aapa /cat tt€VT€- /cat /ca#' eV ovtcos aXP L T & v €7jtci 
TTpooriOrioiv, loot oktlo /cat ct/cocrt rd ndvTa tl- 
kt€lv, oaa /cat ttjs creXrjvrjs (/>lot' €otlv. tovto fiev 
F ovv locos jJLvdtoheoTepov at 8' €i/ rot? opLpuaotv avTov 
Kopai TrXrjpovoOcu 'p,ev /cat TrXaTvveodai Sokovolv iv 
TravoeXrjvcp , XenTVveoOaL Se /cat p,apavyelv iv rats* 

fl€L(x)0€OL TOV CLOTpOV. TW 8' OLvdpCOTTOpLOpCpCp TOV 

alXovpov to voepov /cat Aoyt/coV ip,cfraiv€Tai tcov 
Trepi ttjv oeXrjvrjv pL€Ta/3oXcov . 

64. Sui/cAoVri 8* eiTTtlv ovd* vScop ovQ y rjXtov 
ovt€ yrjv ovt ovpavov "Ooipw 77 *Yoiv opdcos eyet 
vopa%€iv, ovre irvp Tvcf>cova irdXiv ovt avxpuov ovSe 
OaXoLTTav, dXX olttXlos ooov ioTiv iv tovtols a- 
377 pueTpov /cat aVa/CToy vnepfioXaZs rj evSetats" Tv<f>covi 
7TpocrvifJiovT€s , to Se KeKoop.qp.ivov /cat dya#o> /cat 
<l)(f>iXipLOV cos "IotSo? p>€V epyov et/coVa 8c /cat /xt- 
p,rjp,a /cat Adyoy 'OatjotSos oefiopievoi /cat TLpLLovTes, 
ovk dv ap,apTdvoipL€v . dAAa /cat to^ EuSo^oy 
aVtcrTOWTa Travoopuev /cat oiairopovvTa ttlos ovtz 
krjpLTjTpL ttjs tcov ipcoTiKcov irnpLeXelas p,iTeoTiv 
dAA' "IcrtSt, to tc 1 AtoVuaov ou Toy NetAoy av^ew 
ovt€ tlov TedvrjKOTCov apx^w 8vvao6at. 2 ivi ydp 
Xoyto KOLVLp tovs deovs tovtovs rrepl iraoav dya- 
0ov fiolpav rjyovpieda TtTayQai, /cat ttolv ooov zvzoti 

1 to tc E. Capps : tov re. 
2 hvvaodat, Helmbold : bwd^xcvov. 

a Cf. Photius, Bibliotheca, 242 (p. 343 a 5 ed. Bekker). 
* Cf. 367 d, st^ra. 
150 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 376-377 

the cat they symbolize the moon because of the varied 
colouring, nocturnal activity, and fecundity of the 
animal. For the cat is said to bring forth first one, 
then two and three and four and five, thus increasing 
the number by one until she reaches seven, a so that 
she brings forth in all twenty-eight, the number also 
of the moon's illuminations. Perhaps, however, this 
may seem somewhat mythical. But the pupils in the 
eye of the cat appear to grow large and round at the 
time of full moon, and to become thin and narrow at 
the time of the wanings of that heavenly body. By 
the human features of the cat is indicated the intelli- 
gence and the reason that guides the changes of the 
moon. 5 

64. To put the matter briefly, it is not right to 
believe that water or the sun or the earth or the sky 
is Osiris or Isis c ; or again that fire or drought or the 
sea is Typhon, but simply if we attribute to Typhon d 
whatever there is in these that is immoderate and 
disordered by reason of excesses or defects ; and if 
we revere and honour what is orderly and good and 
beneficial as the work of Isis and as the image and 
reflection and reason of Osiris, we shall not be wrong. 
Moreover, we shall put a stop to the incredulity of 
Eudoxus e and his questionings how it is that Demeter 
has no share in the supervision of love affairs, but 
Isis has ; and the fact that Dionysus cannot cause 
the Nile to rise, nor rule over the dead. For by 
one general process of reasoning do we come to 
the conclusion that these gods have been assigned 
to preside over every portion of what is good ; 
and whatever there is in nature that is fair and 

c Cf. 363 d and 364 d, supra. 
d Cf. 364 a and 369 a, supra. ■ Frag. 63. 

151 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(377) rfj (f)VG€L kclXov /cat dya06v Std rovrovs VTrap^eiv , 
top ixev StSdVra ras dpxds, ti)v 8' vTroSexojJLevrjv 
B /cat oiavefjiovoav. 

65. Ovrco Sc /cat rots' TroAAots" /cat <j>opTiKois eVt- 
X^iprjcrofJiev, €tre rats /ca#' a>/>ar /xera/JoAat? rou 

7T€pl€XOVTOS €LT€ Tat? KapTTCOV y€V€G€GL /Cat GTTOpaLS 

/cat apoTot? ^atpouat rd 7T€/h tou? Oeovs rovrovs 1 
ovvoiK€iovvT€s , Kdi Xeyovres 6a7TT€oQai p,kv TOV 
"Oaipiv, ore KpvTTrerai rfj yfj 2 GTTtipopitvos 6 /cap- 
TToSy avBis 8' dvafiiovodai /cat avcufxiiveodai , ore 
fi\a<JTr}(j€a)s &PXV' ^ LO Kai Aey^rat 3 rrjv *\giv 
aluOofJLevqp on /cuct TrepiaifjaoOai <j>vXaKrripiov eicrg 
ixrjvos larainzvov Q>aoj<f>i' rtKreoOai 8e rov 'Aprro- 
C Kpdrrjv rrepl Tponas xet/xeptyds 1 dreXrj /cat *>eapo> 
iv rots rrpoavdovoL /cat TrpofiXaordvovGi. Sto /cat 
(fxiKtov avra) <f)vofjL€VU)v dnapx^s eTrufxEpovai, rds 
oe Xox^iovs r) pie pas eoprd^eiv peer a rr)v eapivrjv 
LG7]fi,€piav. ravra yap aKovovres ayanajcrt /cat 

TTLGTeVOVGLV, CLVTodtV €K TCOV TTpOXeiptOV Ko\ GVV" 

rjdajv to mdavov eXKovres. 

66. Kat oewov ovoev, dv rrptorov pbev rjfiiv rovs 

06OVS (f>vXdrra>GL KOLVOVS /Cat fJLTJ TTOICOGLV AlyV- 

tttlojv lotovs, pLTjoe NeiXov r\v re NeiXos dpSec pLovqv 
Xiopav rols ovojJiaGi tovtois KaraXapi^dvovres , /X17S 
eXrj firjSe Xojtovs pLovrji'* deorroiiav Xeyovres drro- 
GT€pd)oi fjLeydXcov decov rovs dXXovs dvOpcorrovs, ols 

D NelXoS fJL€V OVK €.GTW OVO€ BoUTO? OlfSe MepL(f)CS' 

T Iaw oe /cat rovs 7T€pl avrrjv deovs exovoi /cat 

1 rovrovs] rovrots Madvig. 2 rfj yfj Rentley : rrjs yfjs. 

3 Acycrat Strijd and F.C.B. : \4yzodai. 

4 flOVTJV F.C.B. : fJLTj. 

a C/. 378 », infra. b Cf. 358 d, supra. 

152 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 377 

good exists entirely because of them, inasmuch as 
Osiris contributes the origins, and Isis receives them 
and distributes them. 

65. In this way we shall undertake to deal with the 
numerous and tiresome people, whether they be such 
as take pleasure in associating theological problems 
with the seasonal changes in the surrounding atmo- 
sphere, or with the growth of the crops and seed- 
times and ploughing ; and also those who say that 
Osiris is being buried at the time when the grain is 
sown and covered in the earth and that he comes to 
life and reappears when plants begin to sprout. For 
this reason also it is said that Isis, when she perceived 
that she was pregnant, put upon herself an amulet a on 
the sixth day of the month Phaophi ; and about the 
time of the winter solstice she gave birth to Harpo- 
crates, imperfect and premature, 6 amid the early 
flowers and shoots. For this reason they bring to him 
as an offering the first-fruits of growing lentils, and 
the days of his birth they celebrate after the spring 
equinox. When the people hear these things, they 
are satisfied with them and believe them, deducing 
the plausible explanation directly from what is 
obvious and familiar. 

66. And there is nothing to fear if, in the first place, 
they preserve for us our gods that are common to both 
peoples and do not make them to belong to the 
Egyptians only, and do not include under these names 
the Nile alone and the land which the Nile waters, 
and do not assert that the marshes and the lotus are 
the only work of God's hand, and if they do not deny 
the great gods to the rest of mankind that possess no 
Nile nor Buto nor Memphis. But as for Isis, and the 
gods associated with her, all peoples own them and are 

153 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(377) yiyvdjGKovoLV anavreg, iviovg fxev ov vrdXai tol$ 
nap* Alyv7TTLtov 6v6fjLa<Ji KaXeiv fie fJLadrjK ores, €/ca- 
arov Se ttjv ovvapuv e| dpxfjs emardpievoi /cat 
TL/JLcovreg. 

Aevrepov, 8 fiei^ov iariv, ottcds crcfyoopa Trpou- 
e^ovac /cat (fiop-qorovrai, pirj Xddajoiv et? 7rvevfJbara 

KCLL peVfJLOLTa KOLL OTTOpOVS /Cat dpOTOVS KCU TTadlf) yfjS 

/cat (JLerafioXas u)pu>v oiaypd^ovres ra #eta /cat 

8iaAvOPT€S m U)07T€p Ot AlOVVCJOP TOP olvOV , "H^atOTOV 

Se rrjv <j>\6ya % <t>epoe<f)6vy}v he </>r)oi ttov KXedvdrjs 

TO StO, TCL)V Kap7TU)V (f>€p6{l€VOV /Cat (f>OV€v6jJLeVOV 
7TV€VfJLa, 7TOl7]T7jS St TtS" €77t TCOV Oepl^OVTOJV 

rrj/JLOs or' alt,T]ol Arjixrjrepa KcoXorofievacv. 

E ovoev yap ovtol oia<f)epovoi rtbv laria /cat KaXoJS 1 
/cat dyKVpav rjyovfjidvcop Kv^epvrjrrjv, /cat vrjfjLara 
/cat KpoKas v<f>dvrrjv s /cat ottovocZov rj pceXiKparov rj 
TTTiadvrjv larpov* aAAa 2 Setras* /cat ddlovs ifJL7roiovai 
86£a$, dvatoOriTOis /cat dif/vxo ts* /cat <j)9etpopi€vais 
dvayKaicos vtt* dvdpamwv Seofjuevcov /cat xpcojiivcov 
<j)v<j€GL /cat rrpay/xaatv oVd/xara detov cVt^epovres . 
Taura /xeV yap avra voijcrai Oeovs ovk eoriv. 

F (67.) ou yap avow* ovo* ai/jvxov ovo u avdpdjTrois 6 
Oeos viroyelpiov aVo tovtojv Se rovs xP co f Ji€ ' vov s 
avrois owpovpLevovs j)pZv /cat rrapixovras devaa /cat 
SiapKrj Oeovs ivofJLicrafJLev , ovx erepovs Trap* irepois 

1 kclXcus Xylander : kolXovs. 

2 aAAa] dfxa 8e Bentley. 

3 avow Reiske : o$v. * ovB y added by Bentley. 

« Cf. Moralia, 757 b-c. b Frag. 547. 

c Cf. The Life and Poetry o Homer, chap, xxiii. in Ber- 
nardakis, vol. vii. 
154 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 377 

familiar with them, although they have learned not 
so very long ago to call some of them by the names 
which come from the Egyptians ; yet they have from 
the beginning understood and honoured the power 
which belongs to each one of them. 

In the second place, and this is a matter of greater 
importance, they should exercise especial heed and 
caution lest they unwittingly erase and dissipate 
things divine a into winds and streams and sowings 
and ploughings, developments of the earth and 
changes of the seasons, as do those who regard 
wine as Dionysus and flame as Hephaestus. And 
Cleanthes b says somewhere that the breath of air 
which is carried (pheromenon) through the crops and 
then suffers dissolution (phoneuomenon) is Pherse- 
phone ; and a certain poet has written with reference 
to the reapers, 

Then when the sturdy youth come to sever the limbs of 
Demeter. 

The fact is that these persons do not differ at all from 
those who regard sails and ropes and anchor as a 
pilot, warp and woof as a weaver, a cup or an honey 
mixture or barley gruel as a physician. But they 
create in men fearful atheistic opinions by confer- 
ring the names of gods upon natural objects which 
are senseless and inanimate, and are of necessity de- 
stroyed by men when they need to use them. 

It is impossible to conceive of these things as being 
gods in themselves ; (67.) for God is not senseless nor 
inanimate nor subject to human control. As a result 
of this we have come to regard as gods those who 
make use of these things and present them to us and 
provide us with things everlasting and constant. Nor 
do we think of the gods as different gods among 

155 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

ov8e fiapfidpovs Kal rf lSiXXrjvas ov8e vorlovs /cat 
fiopeiovs* dAA' tboirep rjXcos Kal aeX^vrj Kal ovpavos 
Kal yfj Kal OdXarra kolvol Traotv, ovopud^erai 8* 
dXXojs vtt* d'XAojv, ovrojs evos Xoyov rov ravra 
378 KoajAOVvTos Kal puds irpovoias emrpoTTevovoiqs Kal 
8vvdpea>v vnovpycov eirl iravra 1 reraypuevajv , erepai 
rrap* erepois Kara vopuovs yeyovaoc rtpial Kal Trpoo- 
Tjyopiai' Kal ovp,/36Xois X9^ )VraL Ka6iepojp,evois ol 
/xeV dpivSpois ol 8e rpavorepois im ra Oela rrjv 
votjglv 68-qyovvres ovk aKivovvais. evioi yap drro- 
a<f>aXevres TravraTraaiv els 8eLoi8aipovlav (IjXloOov, 
ol 8e <f>evyovres worrep eXos z rrjv 8eccn8aipLovLav 
eXadov avOcs worrep els Kprjpvov epTreoovres rrjv 
ddeorrjra . 

08. Ato Set pLaXtara rrpos ravra Xoyov c/c 
</)iXooo(f)Las pLvaraycoyov dvaXafSovras ooitos Sta- 
B voetoOat rcov Xeyopevcov Kal 8pojpLeva>v eKaorov , 
Iva pLTj, KadaTrep Qe68a>pos elrre rovs Xoyovs avrou 
rfj 8e^ia irporeivovros eviovs rfj dptarepa 8e\eo9aL 
rcov aKpoa>p.evu)v s ovra>s rjpL€is a KaXcos ol vopioi 
rrepl ras dvaias Kal ras eopras era^av erepajs viro- 
Xapifidvovres e^apidpr a>/xcy. on yap im rov Xoyov 
dvotoreov arravra, Kal Trap* avrcov eKeivtov eon 
Xafieiv. rfj pev yap evdrrj ern Se/ca rov irptorov 
paqvos eoprd^ovres rco 'E/^/x^ /xe'At /cat gvkov 
eotuovcriv emAeyovres, yAvKV rj aArjUeta. ro be 

1 navra Mark] and : iravras. 

2 Kadi.€pcofjL€voL9 ol ficv Salmasius : Kadi€pa)fi4voL fxkv. 

3 cAo? Xvlander: cSo? or eSo?. 



a See the note at the end of chapter 11 (355 d, supra). 
b Cf. Moralia, 467 b. 

156 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 377-378 

different peoples, nor as barbarian gods and Greek 
gods, nor as southern and northern gods ; but, just as 
the sun and the moon and the heavens and the earth 
and the sea are common to all, but are called by 
different names by different peoples, so for that one 
rationality which keeps all these things in order and 
the one Providence which watches over them and 
the ancillary powers that are set over all, there have 
arisen among different peoples, in accordance with 
their customs, different honours and appellations. 
Thus men make use of consecrated symbols, some 
employing symbols that are obscure, but others those 
that are clearer, in guiding the intelligence toward 
things divine, though not without a certain hazard. 
For some go completely astray and become engulfed 
in superstition ; and others, while they fly from 
superstition a as from a quagmire, on the other hand 
unwittingly fall, as it were, over a precipice into 
atheism. 

68. Wherefore in the study of these matters it is 
especially necessary that we adopt, as our guide in 
these mysteries, the reasoning that comes from 
philosophy, and consider reverently each one of the 
things that are said and done, so that, to quote 
Theodorus,^ who said that while he offered the good 
word with his right hand some of his auditors received 
it in their left, we may not thus err by accepting in a 
different spirit the things that the laws have dictated 
admirably concerning the sacrifices and festivals. 
The fact that everything is to be referred to reason 
we may gather from the Egyptians themselves ; for 
on the nineteenth day of the first month, when they 
are holding festival in honour of Hermes, they eat 
honey and a fig ; and as they eat they say, "A sweet 

157 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(378) rfjs "Io-tSos" cpvXaKTrjpcov, o nepidTTTeoOai jjlvOo* 

Xoyovtriv avrrjv, e^epfirjveveTat " tptovrj aA^^s." 

C tov S' ' Ap7TOKpdrrjv ovre 6eov dreXrj /cat vryniov 

OVT€ XeSpOTTCOV 1 TLVOL VOfJLLGT€OV , dXXd TOV 7T€pl 

Oetov ev dvdpwiTois Xoyov veapov /cat dreXovs /cat 
dScapOpcorov 7Tpoardr7]v /cat aaxfipov igttJv Sto rep 
crro/xart tov oaKrvXov c^ei TrpooKel\xevov ex^p>v8tas 
/cat OLCjrrrjs ovjjl^oXov ev he ra> Meaoprj fjLrjvl tlov 
X^opoirojv €Tn<f>epovT€S Xeyovatv, " yXcorra rvxr], 
yXwrra Saipitov." tlov S' ev AlyvTTTcp tpVTtov 
/xaAtcrra rfj 6etp Ka9ieptoa9a(, Xeyovai rrjv nepaeav, 
ore Kapota {lev 6 Kapnos avrfjs, yXwrrrj 8e to 
tf>vXXov eoiKev. ovSev yap tov dvdptoTTOs %X €lv 
7T€(f>VK€ QeioTepov Xoyov /cat jjidXiara tov Trepl detov, 
D ov8e jjiei^ova ponrjv e^6t TTpos evSaifiovtav. Sto tco 
fiev €tV to xP r } ai "^P L0V €vrav0a /cartdVrt napey- 
yvajpuev oata tppoveiv, evtfyrjfia 2 Xeyeiv. ol 8e ttoXXoI 
yeXola 8ptooiv ev rat? TTopurals /cat Tats 1 eopTals 

€V(f>r]fXLaV TTpOKTjpVTTOVTtS , €IT0L TTepl TLOV OetOV 

avTtov tol SvacfrrjpLOTaTa /cat XeyovTes /cat Sta- 

VOOVfJLeVOt. 

69- Ilcos 1 ovv xP r } GT * ov ^°" TL ra fe crKvdpa)7Tcus /cat 
dyeXdoTois /cat irevQipLOis dwious, el [xryre irapa- 
XeiTTew* ra vevopaafjieva kolXgjs ^X €L ^ T€ <f>vpeiv 
ra? 7T€pl decov ho^as /cat ovvTapaTreiv vttoiJjllus 
otottols; /cat 7rao' "EAA^aty o/zota TroAAa ytyveTac 
Trepl tov avrov ojjlov tl xP® vov > o& AlyvTrrtoi Soa>- 

1 ^€8/307Ta>v Emperius : xcSpoirwv. 

2 €v(f>t]jxa Meziriacus : evoxqiia. 

8 7rapa\€i7T€iv Bernardakis : irapaXiirctv. 

a Cf. 377 b, supra, 
158 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 378 

thing is Truth." The amulet a of Isis, which they 
traditionally assert that she hung about her neck, is 
interpreted " a true voice." And Harpocrates is not 
to be regarded as an imperfect and an infant god, 
nor some deity or other that protects legumes, but 
as the representative and corrector of unseasoned, 
imperfect, and inarticulate reasoning about the gods 
among mankind. For this reason he keeps his finger 
on his lips in token of restrained speech or silence. 
In the month of Mesore they bring to him an offering 
of legumes and say, " The tongue is luck, the tongue 
is god." Of the plants in Egypt they say that the 
persea is especially consecrated to the goddess 
because its fruit resembles a heart and its leaf a 
tongue. The fact is that nothing of man's usual 
possessions is more divine than reasoning, especially 
reasoning about the gods ; and nothing has a greater 
influence toward happiness. For this reason we give 
instructions to anyone who comes down to the oracle 
here to think holy thoughts and to speak words of 
good omen. But the mass of mankind act ridiculously 
in their processions and festivals in that they proclaim 
at the outset the use of words of good omen, 5 but later 
they both say and think the most unhallowed thoughts 
about the very gods. 

69- How, then, are we to deal with their gloomy, 
solemn, and mournful sacrifices, if it be not proper 
either to omit the customary ceremonials or to con- 
found and confuse our opinions about the gods by un- 
warranted suspicions ? Among the Greeks also many 
things are done which are similar to the Egyptian 
ceremonies in the shrines of Isis, and they do them at 

b The regular proclamation (cu^/xctrc) used by the Greeks 
at the beginning of any ceremony. 

159 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

E olv eV rots 'Icre tots'. 1 /cat ydp 'AOrjvrjcn vrjorevovaiv 
at yvvaiKes iv Oecr/xo^optotj xap,al Kadrjfxevaiy /cat 
Bota>rot to, ttJs* 'A^atdV /xeyapa klvovglv 2 irrax8rj 
rrjv eoprrjv iKewrjv ovofidlovres, d)$ Std r^v T77? 
Koo^s* KaBooov eV ax ei T V^ At^/x^t/oos* ovcrrjs. eon 
8' o /i/qp ovros rrepl EtActaSas* 3 OTr6pipLos> ov 
'AOvp AlyvTTTLOt, Tlvaveifjcwva 8' 'Adrjvaioi, Botarrot 
Se Aafjidrptov koXovgl. rovg Se irpos ioiripav 
oiKovvras iaropei QeoTrofnros rjyetadai /cat /caAety 
rov jjlcv xet/xawa Kpovov, to Se 6 epos ' ' A^pohiriqv , 

F to 8 eap Tltpcre^ovqv, e/c Se KooVou /cat *A(j)po- 
8lrrjs yevvacrOai irdvTa. Qpvyes Se rov #eo> otd- 
fjbevoL ^etjLtcDros* /ca#euSety, Oepovs 8* eypr^yopeVat, 
Tore /xer KaTevvaojjLovs , Tore 8' aveyepoeis 
fia.KX£VOVT€$ avrcx) reXovac. Yla(/>Xay6v€s Se /cara- 
SeiaOaL /cat KaQeipyvvaBai x €l p6 )V °S , rjpos Se /ctvet- 
cr#at /cat aVaAuecr#at (fy&GKOvoi. 

70. Kat StSojcrty o Katpos vrrovoiav eVt rcov Kap~ 

TTCOV Tt} d7TOKpVljj€l y€V€(j9ai TOV OKvQpO)7TaO\A,6v , 

0$? ot 7raAatot Oeovs \xev ovk eVo/xt£oy, dXXd Scopa 
0€a>v dVay/cata /cat /xeydAa rrpos to fjurj ^rjv dyplojs 
379 /cat dr)pia)hios . /ca0' ^v 8 topav tous" ftei> a7ro 4 
SeVSpojp iJjpcov a<f>avL£,ofJLevovs TravTarraaiv /cat 
dTroAetVoi-'Tas', rovs* 5 Se /cat avrot KaTeoireipov* €Ti 
yAlo~xpws /cat dir6pa>s, Sta^ojj^evot rats X € P (7L TT ) V 

1 'Iaeiois'] ooioLs in most mss. 

2 Ktvoucrtv] various emendations have been proposed, Kevov- 
atv, Koviiooiv, kXciovoiv, and one ms. seems to have kovovolv, 
but none makes the meaning clear. 

3 nAeiaSas Xylander : 77AaaSa. 

4 airo] a.7ro ra>v Reiske. 

5 tovs Wyttenbach : ovs. 

c /careWetpop Holwerda : Kara (mecpav or Karao7T€ipavT€S> 

160 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 379-380 

about the same time. At Athens the women fast at 
the Thesmophoria sitting upon the ground ; and the 
Boeotians move the halls of the Goddess of Sorrow 
and name that festival the Festival of Sorrow,* 1 since 
Demeter is in sorrow because of her Daughter's 
descent to Pluto's realm. This month, in the season 
of the Pleiades, is the month of seeding which the 
Egyptians call Athyr, the Athenians Pyanepsion, and 
the Boeotians Damatrius. 6 Theopompus c records 
that the people who live toward the west believe that 
the winter is Cronus, the summer Aphrodite, and the 
spring Persephone, and that they call them by these 
names and believe that from Cronus and Aphrodite 
all things have their origin. The Phrygians, believ- 
ing that the god is asleep in the winter and awake 
in the summer, sing lullabies for him in the winter and 
in the summer chants to arouse him, after the manner 
of bacchic worshippers. The Paphlagonians assert 
that in the winter he is bound fast and imprisoned, 
but that in the spring he bestirs himself and sets 
himself free again. 

70. The season of the year also gives us a suspicion 
that this gloominess is brought about because of the 
disappearance from our sight of the crops and fruits 
that people in days of old did not regard as gods, but 
as necessary and important contributions of the gods 
toward the avoidance of a savage and a bestial life. 
At the time of year when they saw some of the fruits 
vanishing and disappearing completely from the 
trees, while they themselves were sowing others in 
a mean and poverty-stricken fashion still, scraping 

° Cf. Pausanias, ix. 8. 1, and Preller, Griechische MyDio- 
logie*, i. 752, note 3 ; but the matter is very uncertain. 
* The month sacred to Demeter. e Frag. 335. 

161 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(379) yyjv kcll TTtpujreWovTts avdcs, err* aS^Ao; ra> rrdXiv 
eKreXeladai Kal ovvriXtiav k'^etv aTToOdjJLevoi, 7roAAa 
OaTTTOVGi vojjioia Kal TTevOovoiv errparrov. effi 
cbcrrrep rjixels tov (hvov^ievov /JtjSAta HXdrcovos aWt- 
aOal <f>ap,ev UXdrcova, /cat MevavSpov u7ro/cptVea#at 
tov 1 ra MzvdvSpov iroirnxaTa 8tart0€^i€vov 3 a ovrcos 

€K€LVOL Toils TCOV OecJoV OVOfJLOLCTL TOL TCOV detOV 8(JL)pa 

B /cat Trotrjixara KaXelv ovk icf)€i8ovTO, tljjllovt€s vtto 
Xpetas Kal aepcvvrovTes . ol S' varepov drraiSevTajs 
oexopuevoL Kal dfxadcos avaaTpe<f>ovT€s irrl tovs 
Oeovs rd iradq tcov KapTrcov, /cat rds irapovoias tcov 
dvayKaicov Kal a7TOKpvifj€is Oecov yeveoeis Kal cf)9opds 
ov rrpoaayopevovres pcovov aAAa /cat vofii^ovTes, 
aTorrcov Kal rrapavofjicov Kal TETapaypevcov 8o£cbv 
avTovs iverrX^aav, /catVot tov napaXoyov ttjv 
droiriav ev otfrdaXfjuols exovTes. ev p,kv ovv 3 Se^o- 
cfrdvrjs 6 ¥LoXo<f>covios rj^tcocre A tovs Klyvirriovs , €t 

C Oeovs vofJLL^ovcri, firj 9p r t]veiv i el 8e Oprjvovac, 9eovs 
fjurj vq/xt'£etv. aAAo tl t) 6 yeXolov a/xa dprjvovvras 
evxeoQai tovs Kapnovs rrdXtv dvacpaivetv Kal re- 
Xeiovv eavTois, ottcos rrdXiv avaXiaKcovTai /cat 
dprjvcovTai; (71.) to 8' ovk k'oTi toiovtov, aAAa 0prj- 

VOVOL fJL€V TOVS KapTTOVS , CU^OP'Tat §€ TOLS aiTcois Kal 

SoTrjpaL 9eols €T€povs rrdXiv veovs TTOiclv Kal dva- 
<f>veiv aVrt tcov aTToXAvp,evcov . 69 ev aptara XeyeTai 

1 vTTOKplveoQaL tov in one ms. : tov xmoKpiveoO ai. 

2 8iaTL0€iA€vov Wyttenbach : vnoTiOefievov. 

8 ev fi€v ovv Bernardakis : ov fiovov. 

4 rj£ia)0€ Wyttenbach : rj c£r}s ol. 

6 aAAo rt rj F.C.B. : dAA' on. 

a C/. Diels, Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, i. 44, Xenophanes, 
no. a 13; also Moralia, 171 d, 228 E, and 763 d ; and Hera- 
cleitus, no. b 127 (Diels, i. 103). 

162 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 379 

away the earth with their hands and again replacing 
it, committing the seeds to the ground with uncertain 
expectation of their ever appearing again or coming 
to fruition, they did many things like persons at a 
funeral in mourning for their dead. Then again, 
even as we speak of the man who buys the books of 
Plato as " buying Plato," and of the man who repre- 
sents the poems of Menander as " acting Menander," 
even so those men of old did not refrain from calling 
by the names of the gods the gifts and creations of 
the gods, honouring and venerating them because of 
the need which they had for them. The men of later 
times accepted this blindly, and in their ignorance 
referred to the gods the behaviour of the crops and 
the presence and disappearance of necessities, not 
only calling them the births and deaths of the gods, 
but even believing that they are so ; and thus they 
filled their minds with absurd, unwarranted, and 
confused opinions although they had before their 
eyes the absurdity of such illogical reasoning. 
Rightly did Xenophanes a of Colophon insist that the 
Egyptians, if they believed these to be gods, should 
not lament them ; but if they lamented them, they 
should not believe them to be gods. Is it anything 
but ridiculous amid their lamentations to pray that 
the powers may cause their crops to sprout again and 
bring them to perfection in order that they again be 
consumed and lamented ? (71.) This is not quite the 
case : but they do lament for their crops and they do 
pray to the gods, who are the authors and givers, that 
they produce and cause to grow afresh other new 
crops to take the place of those that are undergoing 
destruction. Hence it is an excellent saying current 



163 



PLUTARCH'S MORALTA 

(379) irapd rols <f>i\oo6<f>ois to tovs /X77 fiavdavovras 
opOws clkov€W ovofjcdrajv kolkcos ^prjoOat /cat rots 
7TpdyfJLaaiv' coairep *JLXXrjva)v oi tol ^aA/cd /cat ra 
yparrrd Kal Xidiva jjlt} (xaOovreg ^778' edicrdivres 
D lydXpiaTa /cat rt/xa? deaw, dAAa Oeovs KaXeiv, etra 
ToXfitovTes Xiyciv, ort r^r ' A9r)vav Ao,xdpr}$ it;- 
eSvae, top 8' A7roAAaj^a "%pvoovs fioGTpvxpvs €X ovra 

&COPVGLOS dlT€K€lp€V , O 0€ 7j€V£ 6 VLa7r€TCL)XlOS 7T€pl 

top i(jL(f)vXiov TroXejJLov ip€Trprjadrj /cat oiefiddprj, 
Xavddvovai 1 owe^eA/coueyot 2 /cat Trapaoexofievot 
oo£as 7Tovr)pds eTrojxivas rot? dyo/xacrtv. 

Tovro 8' ov^ tJklgtol ireirovdaGiv AlyviTTioi 7T€pl 
ra TLjJicofxeva ra>v £a>a>*\ ''EAA^i/es' /xc> yap eV ye 
tovtols XeyovGiv opdws Kal vopblt.ovGiv lepop *A<j>po- 
Slttjs £toov etvat rrjv TrepLGrepdv /cat top Spd/covra 
ttJs" *A07)vas /cat rdy /copa/ca toO 'ATrdAAaivo? /cat 
rov /ctW T7J9 'ApT€fJLt,8os, cbs JLvpnriorjs 

E 'E/cdr^? ayaAjita <f>coG(f)6pov kvojp €077 . 3 

Atyt>7TTtO>P' 8' Ot 7ToAAot d€pa7T€VOVT€S OLVTOL TOL £tO0L 
/Cat 7T€pi€7TOPT€S d>$ OtOVS OV yeXtOTOS pLOPOP OVO€ 

xXevaop,ov KaTa7T€7rXr}KaGL rd? Upovpytas, dAAa 
tovto Trjs djSeATepta? eAd^tardv eart kolkov Sd£a 
8' i[i<f>v€TaL oeivr}, tovs tt€i' dafleyets' /cat d/cd/cous 
€t9 aKpCLTOV V7T€p€L7rovGa* ttjv SetcrtSat/xoytW, rot? 

1 Aavflavouox Baxter : fxavddvovot. 

2 CTwe^eA/cdjucvot Bernardakis: ovv c^cAko/licvoi 

3 l<ny Xylander : ecrcrtV. 

4 virepcLTTOvaa Reiske : vir^peihovaa. 



C/. Moralia, 707 f. 

6 The gold was removed by him from the chryselephantine 
164. 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 379 

among philosophers that they that have not learned 
to interpret rightly the sense of words are wont to 
bungle their actions. For example, there are some 
among the Greeks who have not learned nor habitu- 
ated themselves to speak of the bronze, the painted, 
and the stone effigies as statues of the gods and 
dedications in their honour, but they call them gods ; 
and then they have the effrontery to say that Lachares 
stripped Athena, & that Dionysius sheared Apollo of 
the golden locks, and that Jupiter Capitolinus was 
burned and destroyed in the Civil War, c and thus 
they unwittingly take over and accept the vicious 
opinions that are the concomitants of these names. 

This has been to no small degree the experience of 
the Egyptians in regard to those animals that are held 
in honour. In these matters the Greeks are correct in 
saying and believing that the dove is the sacred bird of 
Aphrodite, that the serpent is sacred to Athena, the 
raven to Apollo, and the dog to Artemis — as Euri- 
pides d says, 

Dog you shall be, pet of bright Hecate. 

But the great majority of the Egyptians, in doing 
service to the animals themselves and in treating them 
as gods, have not only filled their sacred offices with 
ridicule and derision, but this is the least of the evils 
connected with their silly practices. There is engen- 
dered a dangerous belief, which plunges the weak and 
innocent into sheer superstition, and in the case of the 

statue of Athena in the Parthenon ; c/. W. B. Dinsmoor, Amer. 
Journ. Arch, xxxviii. (1934) p. 97. 

c July 6, 83 b.c, according to Life of Sulla, chap, xxvii. 
(469 b). The numerous references may be found in Roscher, 
Lexikon der gr. und rom. Mythologie, ii. 714. 

d Nauck, Trag. Frag. Graec, Euripides, no. 968. 

165 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

ok Sptpvrepois Kal Bpaavrepois els dOeovs €jjl~ 
rrnrrovoa Kal OrjpiwSeis Xoytajxovs . f} 1 Kal Trepl 
rovrojv ra €lk6t(l SieXdelv ovk dvappuoorov eon. 
72. To p,€V yap els ravra ra £o)a rovs Oeovs 

F rov Tv(f)a)va oeioavras p,erafSaXelv , olov diro- 
KpvTTTovras eavrovs odopaoiv tfieajv Kal kvvcjv Kal 
lepaKOJV, rraoav vuepTTeiraiKe repareiav Kal pv9o- 
Xoyiav Kal to fals ipvxcus rG)v davovrajv ocrcu 
hiapevovoiv els ravra fxova ylyveadai ttjv iraXiy- 
yevealav ofioiojs aTnarov. ra>v ok fiovXopbevajv 
TroXiTiKTfV riva Xeyeiv air Lav ol pev "Ocripiv ev rfj 
pieydXrj or pared (fyaacv €t$ p<epr\ iroXXd StavetpLavra 
tt)v Svvapuv a 2 Xoxovs Kal razees 'EAAt^c/coj? 3 
koXovglv, eTTtarjpia Sowai 4 £ojo/zop</>a tt&olv, wv 
380 €Kaarov rep 5 yevei rcov avvveprjdevTwv lepov ye- 
veadai Kal Tipaov ol Se rovs vcrrepov /Jcto-iAer? eV- 
TrXr}£eojs eveKa rtbv TroXeptajv eirK^aiveodai drjplajv 
Xpvoas 7rporopLas Kal dpyvpas irepiridepevovs' 
dXXoi 8k rojvSe tcjv Setvtov riva Kal iravovpycov 
paacXeajv laropovai rovs Alyvrrriovs Karapadovra 
rrj pkv (f>vaec Kov<f>ovs Kal 77009 per.fioXrjv Kal 
vea>repiorpi6v d^vppouovs ovras, ap,ayov ok Kal 
SvaKaQcKTOv vno 7tXt]9ovs Svvapav ev rep ovp~ 
<f>povetv* Kal Koivoirpayeiv e'xovras, dioiov avrols 
eyKaraarrelpai 1 Sei£avra s heioioaip,oviav , Scacfiopas 

B arravarov rrpocfyaaiv . rcov ydp drjpiajv, a irpoa- 

1 27 Xylander: rj. 2 a added by Wyttenbach. 

3 'EMtjvikcjs Xylander : cAA^ vikcls. 

4 Bovvai. Markland : hovvai Kal. 

5 ckclotov rip Salmasius : €Kaora>. 

* <xvfx<f>pov€Tv Markland : aaxfrpovclv. 

7 iyKaTaairclpat Meziriacus : iv KaraaTropa. 

8 Setfavra] SiSafaira H. Richards. 

166 



JSIS AND OSIRIS, 379-380 

more cynical and bold, goes off into atheistic and 
brutish reasoning. Wherefore it is not inappropriate 
to rehearse in some detail what seem to be the facts 
in these matters. 

72. The notion that the gods, in fear of Typhon, 
changed themselves into these animals, b concealing 
themselves, as it were, in the bodies of ibises, dogs, 
and hawks, is a play of fancy surpassing all the wealth 
of monstrous fable. The further notion that as many 
of the souls of the dead as continue to exist are reborn 
into these animals only is likewise incredible. Of 
those who desire to assign to this some political reason 
some relate that Osiris, on his great expedition, 
divided his forces into many parts, which the Greeks 
call squads and companies, and to them all he gave 
standards in the form of animals, each of which came 
to be regarded as sacred and precious by the descend- 
ants of them who had shared in the assignment. 
Others relate that the later kings, to strike their 
enemies with terror, appeared in battle after putting 
on gold and silver masks of wild beasts* heads. 
Others record that one of these crafty and unscrupu- 
lous kings, having observed that the Egyptians 
were by nature light-minded and readily inclined to 
change and novelty, but that, because of their 
numbers, they had a strength that was invincible and 
very difficult to check when they were in their sober 
senses and acted in concert, communicated to them 
and planted among them an everlasting superstition, 
a ground for unceasing quarrelling. For he enjoined 

° See the note on 355 d, supra. 
b Cf. Diodorus, i. 86. 3. e Ibid. i. 89. 5 and 90. 

167 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

^380) ira^€v dXXois dXXa rtudV Kal oefieodac, Svofj.evtos 
Kal noXeficKtos dAA^AotS' 7Tpoo(f)epo[xeva)v , Kal rpo- 
<f>r)V irepav erepov 1 Trpooieodai it €<f>v kotos, 2 dfiv- 

' OVT€S* OL€l TOLS OLK€LOLS €KCLOTOt, Kal X a ^ €7r< *>S 
Y&lKOVp,€VOJV A <f)£pOVT€S IXdvOaVOV TOLS TtOV OrjpLCOV 

'--XOpais ow6<£eA/co/zevot 5 Kal ovveK7ToXepLovp,evoi 
irpos dXXrjXovs. fjiovoi yap en vvv KlyvuTioyv 
AvKOTToXiraL irpofiaTov eoOiov(jtv y errel Kal Xvkos, 
bv deov POfiL^ovoiv ol S' y Q£vpvy)(ZTai Ka6* fjfias, 
T&v K.vvo7to\ito>v top o^vpvyypv iyfbvv eoOiovTiov, 
Kuva 6 ovXXafiovTes Kal OvoavTes ojs Upeiov fcar- 

ecf>ayov €/c 8e tovtov KaTaoTavTes els iroXepLov 
dXXrjXovs T€ 8te9r]Kau /ca/ca>9 Kal voTepov vtto 
'Pcojxatcjv KoXatop,evoi oieTeOrjoav. 

73. YloXXcov 8e XeyovTCx)v els TavTa tgl £a>a tjjv 
tov Tvcfroovos avTov oidpaodai iftvxrjv, alviTi eodai 
86£eiev dv 6 jxvdos otl iraoa (f>vcns aXoyos Kal 
07]pLo)8r}s Trjs tov KaKov Satfiovos yeyove fioipas, 
KaKelvov c/c/zetAtaao/xeyot Kal 7TaprjyopovvTes irepi- 
eirovoi TavTa Kal depairevovoiv av he ttoXvs 
ifJL7TL7TT7] Kal ^aXerros avxi^os e7rdyu)V vTrepfiaX- 
Xovtojs rj vooovs oXeOptovs rj ovfj,(f>opas dXXas 
irapaXoyovs Kal aAAo/cdrou?, eVta tu>v Ti\ioj\xevojv 
ol lepels dndyovTes vtto cfkotco /xera cria>7T7Js Kai 

D rjcrvxlas aVetAoucrt /cat oehiTTovTai to 7Tpa>TOV, av 

1 er4pov Reiske : irepovs. 

2 7T€<J>vkotos Reiske (Wyttenbach prefers hepwv ere pa . . . 
7T€<t>vKOTa>v : 7T€<t>VKoras). 3 afjLvvovres Xylander : dfivvoiTas. 

4 d8iKovfi€va)v Markland : dhiKovficvoL. 

5 owcfoAKOficvoi Wyttenbach : cwcA/co/zeroi. 

6 Kvva Reiske : kvvqs. 

a Cf. 353 c and 358 b, supra ; Aelian, De Natura Anima- 
Hum, xi. 27, and Juvenal, xv. 35. 
168 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 380 

on different peoples to honour and revere different 
animals ; and inasmuch as these animals conducted 
themselves with enmity and hostility toward one 
another, one by its nature desiring one kind of food 
and another another, the several peoples were ever 
defending their own animals, and were much offended 
if these animals suffered injury, and thus they were 
drawn on unwittingly by the enmities of the animals 
until they were brought into open hostility with one 
another. Even to-day the inhabitants of Lycopolis 
are the only people among the Egyptians that eat 
a sheep ; for the wolf, whom they hold to be a god, 
also eats it. And in my day the people of Oxy rhy nchus 
caught a dog and sacrificed it and ate it up as if 
it had been sacrificial meat, tt because the people of 
Cynopolis were eating the fish known as the oxy- 
rhynchus or pike. As a result of this they became 
involved in war and inflicted much harm upon each 
other ; and later they were both brought to order 
through chastisement by the Romans. 

73. Many relate that the soul of Typhon himself 
was divided among these animals. The legend would 
seem to intimate that all irrational and brutish nature 
belongs to the portion of the evil deity, and in trying 
to soothe and appease him they lavish attention and 
care upon these animals. If there befall a great 
and severe drought that brings on in excess either 
fatal diseases or other unwonted and extraordinary 
calamities, the priests, under cover of darkness, in 
silence and stealth, lead away some of the animals 
that are held in honour ; and at first they but threaten 
and terrify the animals, 5 but if the drought still per- 

6 Cf. Mitteis und Wilcken, Grundziige vnd Chrestomathie 
der Papyruskunde, i. p. 125. 

169 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(380) 8' imfjLevr), KaOiepevovai 1 /cat acfxiTTovaw, ci? S77 
riva KoXaafiov ovra rod BaLfiovos tovtov 77 KaOap- 
[aov dXXais fieyav im, /zcyt'crrot?* /cat yap €v EtAet- 
dvias 2 7roAet £aWas" avd p(f)TTovs KarerripLTTpacfav 
<1)S Ma^c^cu? loroprjKe, Tv<j>cov€iovs z kglXovvt€s , 

KCLL TTjV T€<f>pCLV CLVTiOV XlKjXO)VT€S TJcfxiVl^OV Kdl 

SL€<J7T€ipov. aAAa rovro [A€V iSparo <j>av€pa>s /cat 
kclO* eVa KCLipov 'kv tolls kvvclolv ^/.teoats" at Se 
rcov TLficofxevajv l^cLcjv Ka0Lepevo€Ls diropprfroi /cat 

E XPOVOLS OLTCLKTOLS TTpOS TOL CrVfJLTTLTTTOVTCL yLyVO[JL€VCLl 
TOVS TToXXoVS Aavd aVOVCTL, 7TAr]V OTCLV TCL<f)aS* ^CjOOL 

/cat rdv dXXcov olvcl§€lkvvvt€s eVta ttclvtojv irap- 

OVTO)V QVV€p,^6XXcJGLV h OLOfJL€VOL TOV Tv<f)0)VOS QLVTl" 
Xv7T€LV /Cat KoXoV€LV TO 7]h6fM€VOV . 6 yap ^KlTLS 
hoK€L JJL€T* oXLyOJV dXXiOV UpOS €LVCLL TOV 'OotOtSoS" 

€/cetVa) 8e tcl TrXelara TTpoovefAOvaL. /caV dXrjdrjs 

6 AdyO? OVTOS f), 07]jJLaLV€LV rjyOVflCLL TO l^7)TOVjJL€VOV 

€77t twv opLoXoyovpLevojv /cat kolvols l\OVTOJV TCLS 
TtjLtas*, olov €Otlv tf$Ls /cat tVpa£ /cat KVvoKe<f>aXos , 
clvtos r' 6 6 t A7tls /cat 6 M.4vSrjs 7m ovtcj 8tj ydp rov 
iv MeVS^rt Tpdyov /caAouot. 
F 74. AetVeTat Se 817 to ^petcuSe? /cat to au/x- 

j8oAt/CoV, SiV €VLCL 0CLT€pOV, 77oAAa 8* CLfJi(f>olv fl€T- 

eaxrjKe, fiovv p,iv ovv /cat 7Tp6f$a,TOV /cat lyy€vp,ova 

1 KaOiepevovoi Reiske: Kadupovou 

2 ElXcidvlas Parthey : iSi0u'a<r. 

3 Tv<f>a)V€iovs Squire : TV(j>a>viovs. 

4 Ta<£ds] "AmSo? ra<f>as Xylander. 

5 ovvefjLpdXXwmv Wyttenbach and Bernardakis: awey.- 
fidXaxJiv. 

6 t* added by F.C.B. 

7 kol 6 Mdvfys added by Semler (c/. Herodotus, ii. 46). 
Alii alia. 

170 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 380 

sists, they consecrate and sacrifice them, as if, 
forsooth, this were a means of punishing the deity, 
or at least a mighty rite of purification in matters 
of the highest importance ! The fact is that in the 
city of Eileithyia they used to burn men alive, a as 
Manetho has recorded ; they called them Typhonians, 
and by means of winnowing fans they dissipated and 
scattered their ashes. But this was performed publicly 
and at a special time in the dog-days. The consecra- 
tions of the animals held in honour, however, were 
secret, and took place at indeterminate times with 
reference to the circumstances ; and thus they are 
unknown to the multitude, except when they hold 
the animals' burials, 6 and then they display some of 
the other sacred animals and, in the presence of all, 
cast them into the grave together, thinking thus to 
hurt and to curtail Typhon's satisfaction. The Apis, 
together with a few other animals, seems to be sacred 
to Osiris c ; but to Typhon they assign the largest 
number of animals. If this account is true, I think it 
indicates that the object of our inquiry concerns those 
which are commonly accepted and whose honours are 
universal : for example, the ibis, the hawk, the 
cynocephalus, and the Apis himself, as well as the 
Mendes, for thus they call the goat in Mendes. d 

74. There remain, then, their usefulness and their 
symbolism ; of these two, some of the animals share 
in the one, and many share in both. It is clear that 
the Egyptians have honoured the cow, the sheep, and 

° Cf. Diodorus, i. 88. 5. 

5 Cf. 359 d, supra-, Diodorus, i. 21. 5; 83. 1 and 5; 
84. 7. 

e Cf. 362 c-d, supra. 

d Cf. Herodotus, ii. 46 ; Diodorus, i. 84. 4 ; Strabo, xvii. 
1. 19. 

171 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

BrjXov otl XP € ^ &&*& /cat axfyeXelag irifjurjaav (c5s 
Arjtivioi Kopvhovs, tol tcov arraAdpajv evpiaKovras 
tod /cat kotttovtcls 1 • ©crraAot Se TreAapyou?, ort 
ttoAAous" o<f)€is rrjs yijs avaSiSovcr-qs €Tn<f)a.v€VT€S 
egwXeaav airavras* Sto /cat vo/jlov edevTo <f>€vyew 
ogtls dv aTTOKTeivrj ireXapyov) , acmiSa Se /cat 
yaXrjv /cat KavOqpov, ciKovas Ttva? iv avrols 
381 afiavpas coanep iv OTayooiv rjXtov rrjs tcov Oecov 
8vvd{i€co$ KCLTihovres* ttjv jjl€V yap yaXrjv ert 
TroAAot vofJLL^ovat /cat Xeyovoi /cara to ovs oxevo- 
fievrjv, rep Se oto/jlolti TiKTovaav, et/caajita ttjs tov 
Xoyov yzvecrecos elvar to Se Kavddpcov yevos ovk 
€^€w OrjXeiav, dppevas he rrdvTas d^teVat tov yovov 
et9 ttjv a^>aipo7ToiovpivY]v vX-qv, rjv KvXwhovaiv 
dVrtjSdS^i/ wOovvtzs , wonep So/cet tov ovpavov 6 

rjXtOg €? TOVVaVTLOV 7T€pLOTp€(f>€LV , clvtos aird 

Svojjlcov inl tos dvdToXds <f>€pop,€vos. olottlSol S 
B <x)s dyrjpcov /cat XP^^^W KLvrjoeoiv dvopydvois 

[JL€T €V7T€T€La$ /Cat VypOTTJTOS aCTTpCLTTfj 2 TTpOO- 
(SLKGLOaV. 

75. Ov pity ov8* 6 KpoKobecXos atrtas* 7n6avfjs 
dpiOLpovaav ecr^/ce Tifirjv, dXXd ut/x'n/za 3 deov Ae- 
yerat ycyoi'cVat, jaovos puev dyXcoaoos tov, <f>a)vfjs 
yap 6 Oetos Xoyos aTTpoaSerjs eWt, /cat 

1 kotttovtcs] KairrovTts Hatzidakis. 

2 a<JTpa7rrj Strijd : darpw rj. 

3 fiifj.r)fj.a in one ms. : ov fiifirifia. 

a Cf. Aristotle, Be Mirabilibus Ausc. 23 (332 a 14); 
Pliny, Natural History, x. 31. 62 ; Stcphanus Byzant. 
s.v. (dcaaaXla. 
172 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 380-381 

the ichneumon because of their need for these animals 
and their usefulness. Even so the people of Lemnos 
hold larks in honour because they seek out the eggs 
of the locust and destroy them ; and so the people of 
Thessaly honour storks, a because, when their land 
produced many snakes, b the storks appeared and 
destroyed them all. For this reason they passed a 
law that whoever killed a stork should be banished 
from the country. The Egyptians also honoured the 
asp, the weasel, and the beetle, since they observed 
in them certain dim likenesses of the power of the 
gods, like images of the sun in drops of water. There 
are still many people who believe and declare that 
the weasel conceives through its ear and brings forth 
its young by way of the mouth, and that this is a 
parallel of the generation of speech. The race of 
beetles has no female, but all the males eject their 
sperm into a round pellet of material whicli they roll 
up by pushing it from the opposite side, just as 
the sun seems to turn the heavens in the direction 
opposite to its own course, which is from west to east. 
They compare the asp to lightning, since it does not 
grow old and manages to move with ease and supple- 
ness without the use of limbs. 

75. The crocodile,** certainly, has acquired honour 
which is not devoid of a plausible reason, but he is 
declared to be a living representation of God, since he 
is the only creature without a tongue ; for the Divine 
Word has no need of a voice, and 

b Cf. Clement of Alexandria, Protrepticus, ii. 39. 6 ; 
Plutarch's source may have been Theophrastus, Frag. 174. 6 
(Wiminer, vol. iii. p. 220). 

c Cf. the note on 355 a, supra, 

d Cf. Herodotus, ii. 69. 

173 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(381) St' oafj6(f)ov 

fiaivcov KeXevdov Kara olktjv tcl Qv-fyr ayet. 1 

fjuovov Se' (fxtaw eV vypco otacrcopievov ras oifjeis 
VjJL€va Aetov /cat 8iacf)airj TrapaKaXvirretv e/c rov 

fJL€T(l)7TOV KOLT€pXOH€VOV , COGT€ f5XeTT€lV JJiTj j8Ae7TO- 

fji€vov, o 2 rco npcorcp Oeco au/x/Je'/J^/cer . OTTOV S' aV 
7) fl^Aeta ttjs x^P'Q'S cmore/cr), rovro Net'Aou rrepas 
€7rtcrTaTat rrjs av^rjoecos yevopLtvov. eV vypco 
yap ov SwdpLevau* iroppco Se <f>ofiov jtxei/at 3 tikt€w, 

C OUTtOS OLKpifitOS TTpoaLodaVOVTOLL TO pLtXXoV , COGT€ 

rep 7Torapicp TrpootXdovTi xPV a @ at Ao^euo/xeyat /cat 
ddXTTovoai, tcl 8' OKI £rjpa /cat a/Jpe/cra cf)vXdrreLv . 
i^rjKovra Se tiktovolv, /cat Tocravracs rjpitpais 
€kX€7Tovcfl, /cat Tocrovrovs t,cooiv eviavrovs oi 

fJLaKpOTCLTOV ^LOVTtS , 8 TCOV pL€TpCOV 7TpG)T0V eGTl 

tois 7T€pl tcl ovpdvia Trpay/xareuo/xeVots". 

'AAA(X flTJV TCOV St' dpL<f)6r€pa Tip,COp,€VCOV 7T€pl 

pLev rod kvvos eiprjrai Trpoodev rj S' tfiis diro- 
KTetVouaa p,ev ra Oavarrjcfropa tcov IprreTcov e'St- 
8a£e 7Tpcorrj K€vt6p,aTos larpiKov xpetW KariSovras 
avrrjv* KXv£opL€vr)v /cat KaOaipopLevrjv vtf> y iavrfjs- 
D ol Se vopapLcoraroL tcov cepecov KaOdpotov vocop 
dyvc^ofievoi XapupdvovGiv odev tf$L$ tt€ttcok€v ov 

1 Kara Blktjv to. Qvryr % ayet] /cat Biktjs tcl Ovrjra ayct Kara Blktjv 
all corrected by the mss. of Euripides. 

2 o Meziriacus : <L. 

3 Svvdfievai . . . <f>ofiovfi€vai Meziriacus : Bwafxevoi . . . <f>o- 
PovfM€VOL. 4 avrrjv Strijd : ovto), 

a Euripides, Troades, 887-889; cf. Plutarch, Moralia, 
1007 c. 
b Ibid, 982 c ; Aristotle, Hist. Animalium, v. 33 (558 a 17). 
c Cf. Aelian, Be Natura Animalium, ii. 33, v. 52. 

174 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 381 

through noiseless ways advancing, guides 
By Justice all affairs of mortal men." 

They say that the crocodile is the only animal living 
in the water which has a thin and transparent mem- 
brane extending down from his forehead to cover up his 
eyes, so that he can see without being seen ; and this 
prerogative belongs also unto the First God. In 
whatever part of the land the female crocodile lays 
her eggs, well she knows that this is destined to mark 
the limit of the rise of the Nile 6 ; for the females, 
being unable to lay their eggs in the water and afraid 
to lay them far from it, have such an accurate percep- 
tion of the future that they make use of the oncoming 
river as a guide in laying their eggs and in keeping 
them warm ; and thus they preserve them dry and 
untouched by the water. They lay sixty eggs c and 
hatch them in the same number of days, and those 
crocodiles that live longest live that number of years : 
the number sixty is the first of measures for such 
persons as concern themselves with the heavenly 
bodies. 

Of the animals that are held in honour for both 
reasons, mention has already been made of the dog. d 
The ibis,* which kills the deadly creeping things, was 
the first to teach men the use of medicinal purgations 
when they observed her employing clysters and being 
purged by herself/ The most strict of the priests 
take their lustral water for purification from a place 
where the ibis has drunk g : for she does not drink 

d Supra, 355 b and 368 f. 

• Cf. Diodorus, i. 87. 6. 

f Cf. Aelian, Be Natura Animalium, ii. 35 ; Pliny, 
Natural History, x. 40 (75). 

ff Cf. Moralia, 974 c ; Aelian, Be Natura Animalium, 
vii. 45. 

175 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(381) ttiv€l yap et l vootdSes rj TrecpappLaypiivov ouSe 

7Tp6<7€lOL. TTJ $€ TOW TToSiOV StaO"Ta<7€t 2 TTpOS dXXrj- 

Xovg /cat to pvyx°S looTrXevpov notel rpiycovov en 
8' rj tcov pbeXdvcov TiTtpcov 7rpo? 3 ra Aeu/ca, ttolkiXlol 
/cat fJL€L^tg ipicpaivei creXrjvrjv dpb(j>tKvpTov. 

Ov Sec Se OavfJbd^iv, el yXioxP a S opLoiorrjTas 
ovtojs "qyaTrrjcrav AlyvimoL. /cat yap /cat 4 "EA- 
Xrjv€s eV re ypaTfrois ev re irXaarols €LKacrp,atn 
E decov ixprjoavro ttoXXols tolovtois* olov iv KpryT^ 
A109 rjv ayaAjLta pur] e^ov cSra* tlo yap apxpvri Kal 
Kvpicp ttovtcov ovSevog aKoveiv TTpoor^Kei. tco oe 
rrjs AOrjv&s t6v SpaKovra OetSt'as" 7rap£9r}K€, tco 
Se rrjs 'Atfipoocrrjs iv "HAtSc rrjv ^eAaVr^, cos rds 
p,kv rtapdevovs cpvXaKrjs oeopievas, rat? 8e yap,erals 
F oiKovpiav /cat GicoTrrjv irpeirovcjav. tj Se rov 
Hoo€l8o)vos rplaiva crvpufioXov iorrc rrjs Tplrrjs 
Xcopas, tjv OdXarra /carpet ^tol rov ovpavov /cat 
rov depa reray/xcVry. Std /cat ttjv *ApL<f)LTplT7]v /cat 
rovs TptTOJvas ovtojs covopuaoav. 

Ot Se Ylvdayopeioi /cat dpidpuovs /cat o^T^cara 
decov eKoup^rjoav tt poor]y op cats, to pcev yap loo- 
TrXevpov Tpiyoyvov IkoXovv 'AOrjvav Kopvcfyayevrf 
Kal TpiToyeveiav, otl Tpial KadeTOtg arto tcov Tptcov 
ycovicov dyopuevats Staipetrar to 8' ev ' ArroXXtova 
ttXtjOovs dirofjydcrei Kal 8t' aVAorryTa ttjs* puovdoos' 

1 €i Michael (from Moral. 974 c) : rj. 

2 hcaardaei Bottcher : SiajSaaet. 

3 77730s Reiske : rrepl. 

4 /cat yap /cat Xylander : /cat. 

5 Kopv^ayevij an obvious correction of early editors ; Kopv^a- 
yevvfj. 

6 7rArj9ovs dno<f>daei Kal 8t' dTrAoTT/ra Try? Wyttenbach and 
Bottcher : rreiOovoa TTpo^doa Kal SnrXoraTrjs. 

176 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 381 

water if it is unwholesome or tainted, nor will she 
approach it. By the spreading of her feet, in their 
relation to each other and to her bill, she makes 
an equilateral triangle. Moreover the variety and 
combination of her black feathers with her white 
picture the moon in its first quarter. 

There is no occasion for surprise that the Egyptians 
were so taken with such slight resemblances ; for the 
Greeks in their painted and sculptured portrayals of 
the gods made use of many such. For example, in 
Crete there was a statue of Zeus having no ears ; for 
it is not fitting for the Ruler and Lord of all to listen 
to anyone. Beside the statue of Athena Pheidias 
placed the serpent and in El is beside the statue of 
Aphrodite the tortoise, b to indicate that maidens 
need watching, and that for married women staying 
at home and silence is becoming. The trident of 
Poseidon is a symbol of the Third Region where the 
sea holds sway, for it has been assigned to a demesne 
of less importance than the heavens and the air. For 
this reason they thus named Amphitritc and the 
Tritons.^ 

The Pythagoreans embellished also numbers and 
figures with the appellations of the gods. The equi- 
lateral triangle they called Athena, born from the 
head and third-born, because it is divided by three 
perpendiculars drawn from its three angles. The 
number one they called Apollo d because of its rejec- 
tion of plurality e and because of the singleness of 

a Cf Moralia, 670 c. 

b Cf Moralia\ 142 n ; Pausanias, vi. 25. 2. 

c An effort to derive these names from Tptros* " third.** 

d Cf. the note on 354 f, supra. 

e Cf. 393 b, infra. 

177 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

eptv he ttjv hvdha /cat ToApcav 1 ' htKrjv he ttjv Tpcdha, 
rod yap dhiKelv /cat dSt/c€ta#at /car' eXXeixfjiv /cat 
VTrep^oXrjv ovtos, laorrjrt to 2 hiKaiov ev pLecrco 
yeyovev rj he KaXovpevrj rerpaKrvs, ra ?£ /cat 
382 rpiaKovra, p,eyiOTO$ tjv op«os, d>s redpvXrjrac, Kai 
Kocrp,os (hvopLaorai, rerrdpajv pcev dprlcov to>v 
7Tpci)TOJV, rerrdpojv he tcov nepiTTajv els ravro 
crvvTiOepuevajv, arroTeXovpLevos . 

76. JZlirrep ovv oi SoKtpLcoraroL tcov <f>i\oo6<j>tov 
ovh* ev difjvxois /cat dacopdrois Trpdypbaatv atvcypa 2 
tov OeLov Karihovres rj^iovv dpueXelv ovhev oi)S* 
drtpid^eLV, ert /xdAAov oto/xat tcls ev alcrdavopbevais 
/cat ^XW exovvat-s Ka ^ Trddos /cat rjdos fivoecriv 
tStOTTyras" /caret to etKos* dyainqreov elvai 5 , ov ravra 
TLpLajvras, dAAd Sta tovtwv to delov, a>9 evap- 
B yeoTepcov eooTTTpojv /cat (f>voei yeyovoTCov , tocrr' 6 
bpyavov t] r4yyqv Set 7 tov irdvTa Koop,ovvTos Oeov 
vopl^etv, /cat oAa>9 8 d^tovv ye 9 p-qhev dipvxov 
epafjvxov /x^S' dvalodrjTov alodavopievov KpeiTTov 
eu>at, prjh' av top ovpuravTa tcs XP va ° v opov /cat 
GfidpaySov els rauro ovpi<f>opr}Gr). ovk ev ^poats" 10 
yap oi5S' ev ax^aatv oi)S' ev XeiOTrjcnv eyyiyveTai 
to BeZoVy aAA' aTipLOTepav k'xei veKptov piolpav, ocra 
pur) pLeTeox*, /xr^Se /xcre^etv tov ^rjv rre^VKev. rj he 
£a)aa /cat fSXeirovoa /cat Kivrjoeajs apxty e£ avTrjs 
exovaa /cat yvcocrw olKeiojv /cat aXXoTpiwv <f>voLS 

1 roXfiav] noXefMou Reiske. 2 to added by Michael. 

3 aiviyfxa] fjUfiijua Meziriacus. 

4 €lkos Markland : fjdos. 5 clvat, Bernardakis : ovv. 

8 wot' Michael and F.C.B. : u>s. 

7 Set Wyttenbach : del. 

8 Kai oXcos Bentley : *aAo>9. 9 ye Hciske : re. 

10 goats' the more usual form : xP oia ^' 

178 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 381-382 

unity. The number two they called '* Strife," and 
" Daring," and three they called M Justice," for, 
although the doing of injustice and suffering from in- 
justice are caused by deficiency and excess, Justice, 
by reason of its equality, intervenes between the two. 
The so-called sacred quaternion, the number thirty- 
six, was, so it is famed, the mightiest of oaths, and it 
has been given the name of " World " since it is made 
up of the first four even numbers and the first four 
odd numbers added together. 

76. If, then, the most noted of the philosophers, 
observing the riddle of the Divine in inanimate and in- 
corporeal objects, have not thought it proper to treat 
anything with carelessness or disrespect, even more do 
I think that, in all likelihood, we should welcome those 
peculiar properties existent in natures which possess 
the power of perception and have a soul and feeling 
and character. It is not that we should honour these, 
but that through these we should honour the Divine, 
since they are the clearer mirrors of the Divine by 
their nature also, so that we should regard them as 
the instrument or device of the God who orders all 
things. And in general we must hold it true that 
nothing inanimate is superior to what is animate, ana 
nothing without the power of perception is superior 
to that which has that power — no, not even if one 
should heap together all the gold and emeralds in the 
world. The Divine is not engendered in colours or in 
forms or in polished surfaces, but whatsoever things 
have no share in life, things whose nature does not 
allow them to share therein, have a portion of less 
honour than that of the dead. But the nature that 
lives and sees and has within itself the source of 
movement and a knowledge of what belongs to it and 

179 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(382) KaXXovs t 1 ecmaKev drropporjv /cat ptolpav e/c to v 
<f)povovvros , " orcp 2 Kvftepvarai to 3 ovfjurav " Ka6* 
C Hpa/cAetrov. odev ov x e ?pov iv tovtols et/ca^crat 
to Oelov fj xolXkoZs* /cat XtOivots hy]pLtovpyr\\ia(Jtv , 
a <f>6opds f±€v ofiOLCos Several /cat errtxpojoeis , 
atodrjoews 8e rrdorjg cfrvoet /cat ovveoews icrT€pr]Tat. 
TTepl p,€v ovv tcl)v TLfxajfievcov £cq(jov ravra SoKifidl,oj 
ptdXtaTa tcov Xeyopicvojv. 

77. UroXal 8* at (Jtev "lathos TroiKtXat rats /?a- 
<f)aZs' rrepl yap vXrjv rj ovvafits avrrjg iravra ytyvo- 
fievrjv /cat oexopievrjv, <f>a>s okotos, r^xepav vvKra, 
TTVp vocopy £a>r)i> OdvaroVy dpxrjv TcXevrrjv rj 8* 
OatptSo? ovk ex* 1 aKL ^- v ovoe 7rot/ctA/xov, dAA' eV 
dnXoQv to <f)OJTO€iO€£ % OLKpaTov ydp rj dpx*} KaL 
apttyes to rrptoTov /cat votjtov. o9ev drra^ TavTrjv* 
D dvaXafi6vT€s anoTtdevTat /cat (f>vXaTTOvaiv dopaTOV 
/cat aifjavvTov. Tat? 8' 'Iata/cat? 6 xp < ^ >vrai 7T °X- 
Aa/cts" e*' xp r ] a€t y a P Ta aladrjTa /cat rrpox^tpa 
b'vTa noXXds dvaTTTv^ets /cat ^ea? avTWV SXXot* 
dXXajs dfA€t/3oiJL€va>v StSojotv. rj Se rou votjtov /cat 
etXtKptvovg /cat a77Aot> 7 vorjois worrep doTparrT) 
otaXapupaoa tt)s fax 7 )'** a7ra£ ttot£ Otyetv /cat 
irpooL&tiv Trapeoxe* Sto /cat IlAarajv /cat AptOTO- 

t4Xt]S ZTTOTTTtKOV TOVTO TO fltpOS T7]S (f)lXoCTO<f)taS 

1 /caAAovs t' Papabasileios from Plato, Phaedrus, p. 251 b: 

2 or a) Mark land : oVojj. 

3 to Bentley : to tc. 

4 x a ^ K °is Salmasius : xaAirciot?. 

5 ravr-qv Mark land : touto:. 

6 Tat? S* *Ioxa/cafr Mark land : tois 8' loia/cofc. 

7 drrAou Emperius (dyvou ? F.C.B.): 'aytov. 

8 T7 ? ^ V X?7 Markland. 

& TTaptox* Bentley: TrpoocCT^e. 

180 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 382 

what belongs to others, has drawn to itself an efflux 
and portion of beauty from the Intelligence " by 
which the Universe is guided,' ' as Heracleitus ° has it. 
Wherefore the Divine is no worse represented in 
these animals than in works of bronze and stone which 
are alike subject to destruction and disfiguration, and 
by their nature are void of all perception and com- 
prehension. This, then, is what I most approve in 
the accounts that are given regarding the animals 
held in honour. 

77. As for the robes, those of Isis b are variegated in 
their colours ; for her power is concerned with matter 
which becomes everything and receives everything, 
light and darkness, day and night, fire and water, life 
and death, beginning and end. But the robe of 
Osiris has no shading or variety in its colour, but only 
one single colour like to light. For the beginning 
is combined with nothing else, and that which is 
primary and conceptual is without admixture ; where- 
fore, when they have once taken off the robe of Osiris, 
they lay it away and guard it, unseen and untouched. 
But the robes of Isis they use many times over ; for in 
use those things that are perceptible and ready at hand 
afford many disclosures of themselves and opportuni- 
ties to view them as they are changed about in 
various ways. But the apperception of the concep- 
tual, the pure, and the simple, shining through the 
soul like a flash of lightning, affords an opportunity to 
touch and see it but once. c For this reason Plato d and 
Aristotle call this part of philosophy the epoptic e or 

a Diels, Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, i. 86, Heracleitus, 
no. b 41. b Cf. 352 b, supra. 

e Cf. Plato, Letters, vii. 344 b. 
d Plato, Symposium, 210 a. 
• Cf. Life of Alexander, chap. vii. (668 a). 

181 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

KaXovaw, cos ol rd ootjaord /cat ju,6t/cra /cat rravro- 
SaTra ravra TrapafjueafiapLevoi rep Xoyco, rrpos to 

TTpCOTOV €K€LVO /Cat OLTtXoVV /Cat dvXoV itjdXXoVTCLL, 

E /cat diyovres dpLcooyencos 1 rrjs Trepl clvto KaOapds 
aXrjOeuas olov ivreXif t4Xos ^X €lv <f>(*Xooo<f)tav* 

VOpil^OVOl. 

78. Kat tovO' orrep ol vvv Upels o\<f>ooiovp,€voi 
/cat 7rapaKaXv7Tr6fievoc /xer' €uAa/?€tas v7toot]Xovolv 
cos o 0€os ovros dpx^c /cat /JaatAeJet rcov reOvrj- 

KOTCOV OV% €T€pOS COV TOV KaXoVfltVOV TXOp "EA- 

Xrjow "AtSov /cat YIXovtcovos, dyvoovpuevov ottcos 
dXy]d4s ion, Staraparret 4 rovs rroXXovs vttovoovvtols 
eV yfj /cat vno yrjv rov Upov /cat oolov cos dXrjdcos 

F "OcTipW Ot/C6W>, OTTOV TCL OcbpLOLTa KpV7TT€TCLL TOiV 

reXos €X eii; ookovvtcov . d S' earn p,ev avros drrco- 
tcitco rfjs yrjs d^pavTos /cat apLtavros /cat Kadapos 
ovalas dirdoris <f)dopdv Sexo/zeVr/s' /cat Odvarov. 
dvOpcoTTCov he ipvxcus evravdoV* puev vtto ocopidrcov 
/cat Tradcov rrepiexopievais ovk eon /zerouot'a rov 
deov, ttXtjv ooov dvelparros dpiavpov Biyelv vorjoei 
Sta (/> iXooocf) las ' orav 8' diroXvdeloai pLeraorcootv 
383 els to atSes 6 /cat aoparov /cat drraOes /cat dyvov, 
odros olvtclZs rjyepicov eoTi /cat fiaoiXcvs o 0€o?, 
i£r)pT7]pL€vaLS cos ai> 077' avrot; /cat Oecopievais 
ditXriOTCQS /cat rro^ouaats' to /u.?] cfrarov pLrj8e pr)Tov 7 

dvdptOTTOLS KaXXoS' OV TTjV *\oiV 6 TTaXcLLOS a7TO(f)alv€L 

1 afxa)ay€7ro)S F.C.B. : clWqjs. 

2 ivreXrj] ev reAcrfl Reiske. 3 (j>iXooo<f>(as Reiske. 

4 Staraparret Xylander : St arapdrr eti>. 

5 ivravQol] ivTCLvQl Holwerda. 

6 dtScs Parmentier : detSey. 7 prp-6v] oparov Wyttenbach. 

a Cf. 375 d, supra. b Cf. 372 e and 374 f, supra. 

182 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 382-383 

mystic part, inasmuch as those who have passed 
beyond these conjectural and confused matters of all 
sorts by means of Reason proceed by leaps and bounds 
to that primary, simple, and immaterial principle ; 
and when they have somehow attained contact with 
the pure truth abiding about it, they think that they 
have the whole of philosophy completely, as it were, 
within their grasp. 

78. This idea at the present time the priests 
intimate with great circumspection in acquitting 
themselves of this religious secret and in trying to 
conceal it : that this god Osiris is the ruler and king 
of the dead, nor is he any other than the god that 
among the Greeks is called Hades and Pluto. But 
since it is not understood in what manner this is true, 
it greatly disturbs the majority of people who suspect 
that the holy and sacred Osiris truly dwells in the 
earth and beneath the earth , a where are hidden away 
the bodies of those that are believed to have reached 
their end. But he himself is far removed from the 
earth, uncontaminated and unpolluted and pure from 
all matter that is subject to destruction and death ; 
but for the souls of men here, which are compassed 
about by bodies and emotions, there is no association 
with this god except in so far as they may attain to a 
dim vision of his presence by means of the appercep- 
tion which philosophy affords. But when these souls 
are set free and migrate into the realm of the invisible 
and the unseen, the dispassionate and the pure, then 
this god becomes their leader and king, since it is 
on him that they are bound to be dependent in their 
insatiate contemplation and yearning for that beauty 
which is for men unutterable and indescribable. 
With this beauty Isis, ft as the ancient story declares, 

183 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(383) Xoyos epa>oav del Kal hiojKovaav Kal ovvovaav dW- 
TnpLTrXdvai ra ivravda irdvTOjv 1 KaXa>v Kal dyadwv, 
ooa yeveaews /xerecr^/cc. 

Tavra fieu ovv ovtojs €^et top fidXiara OeoZs 
irpeirovra Xoyov. (79.) €L 8e Set Kal irepl rtov 

8 V [Aid) fl€V(x)V rjfJLtpaS €Ka<TTr)S elireZv, <x)(J7T€p VTT 

e.Q)(o\iy\v , €K€ivo Siavorjdeirj ti$ aV* irpoTepov ojs del 
B p*ev ol dvSpes ev dirovhrj fieylarrj ridevrai ra vrpos 
vyleiav iTTLTrjhevixara, fidXiara 8e rals lepovpyiais 
Kal rais dyveiais Kal Siou'rcus" ovx rjrrov eveoTi* 
tou oatou to vyieivov. ov yap aJovTO koXcos ^X €lv 
ovre acbfiaaiv ovre ifjvxais vttovXois Kal voowheoi 
Oepaireveiv to KaQapov Kal dfiXafies Trdurrj Kal 
dfJilavTov. inel tolvvv 6 dtfp, co irXeloTa xP^petia 
Kal ovveofxev, ovk del ttjv avrrjv ex €L on£0€«ra> 
Kal Kpaaiv % dAAd vvKTuyp rrvKvovrai Kal mel^ei to 
awpia Kal avvdyei ttjv */ JV X r ) l/ € ^ T ° ovodvjxov Kal 
C TT€(f)povTLK6s olov dxXvojhrj yiyvo[ievt]V Kal fiapeTav, 
dvaordvres evdvs eTnQvjjLi&oi prjTivrjv, OepairevovTes 
Kal Kadaipovres tov depa rfj hiaKpioei Kal to 
av[X(f>vTov tco oojfJLaTi TTvevpca \ie\iapaapievov avap- 
pnr'iQovTeSi exovcnqs tl ttjs 007x779 a<f>oopov Kal 
KaTanXr] ktlkov . 

AvOis §€ pLeorjfjLfipias aloOavopLevot a<f>68pa ttoX- 
Xrjv Kal fiapelav dvaOvpLiaaiv ano yfjs eXKovra fiia 
top rfXiov Kal KaTap,€iyvvovTa A ra) depi, ttjv a\ivpvav 
iTridvfjLitooi. StaAuei yap rj depfJLOTTjs Kal a/aoV^ai 
to ovviOTapLevov ev ra) TrepiexovTi doXepov Kai 
IXv&Ses. Kal yap ol laTpol 7Tpog Ta Aoitxt/cd irdOr] 

1 TrdvTOJv] irdvra Wyttenbach. 2 av added by Bernardakis. 
3 won Wyttenbach : cWi tovtl. 
4 Karafnyvvovra Xy lander : Karafuyvvovres* 
184 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 383 

is for ever enamoured and pursues it and consorts 
with it and fills our earth here with all things fair 
and good that partake of generation. 

This which I have thus far set forth comprises that 
account which is most befitting the gods. (79.) If, 
as I have promised, I must now speak of the offerings 
of incense which are made each day, one should first 
consider that this people always lays the very greatest 
stress upon those practices which are conducive to 
health. Especially in their sacred services and holy 
living and strict regimen the element of health is no 
less important than that of piety. For they did not 
deem it proper to serve that which is pure and in all 
ways unblemished and unpolluted with either bodies 
or souls that were unhealthy and diseased. 6 Since, 
then, the air, of which we make the greatest use and 
in which we exist, has not always the same consistency 
and composition, but in the night-time becomes dense 
and oppresses the body and brings the soul into 
depression and solicitude, as if it had become befogged 
and heavy, therefore, immediately upon arising, they 
burn resin on their altars, revivifying and purifying 
the air by its dissemination, and fanning into fresh 
life the languished spirit innate in the body, inasmuch 
as the odour of resin contains something forceful 
and stimulating. 

Again at midday, when they perceive that the sun 
is forcibly attracting a copious and heavy exhalation 
from the earth and is combining this with the air, they 
burn myrrh on the altars ; for the heat dissolves and 
scatters the murky and turgid concretions in the 
surrounding atmosphere. In fact, physicians seem to 

° 372 c, supra, 
b Cf. the Roman taboo in Moralia, 281 c. 

185 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(383) fiorjOeZv hoKovot <f>\6ya noXXrjv rroiovvTes o*s XeiTTV- 
D vovaav rov depa- XenTvvei 8e /fe'Artov, edv eva>8rj 
£vXa Kaiajaw, ota KVTraplrrov kolI dpKevOov Kal 
7T€v/<7)s. "Afcpcova yovv rov larpov ev *A6rjvais 
V7ro top jieyav Xoipbov ev8oKLp,fjoai Xeyovoi, irvp 
KeXevovTa TiapaKaleiv rols vooovow wvqoe yap 
ovk oXuyovs. ' ApLGTOTeXrjs 8e (frrjart Kal fivpcov 
Kal dvdeojv Kal Xe'ipiojvojv evu)8e(,s airoTTVolas ovk 
eXarrov k'xeiv T °v irpo§ rjSourjp to vpos vyieiav, 
i/jvxpov ovra (frvarei Kal 7TayeTO)8rj rov iyK€(f>aXov 
y]p€p,a rfj deppLorrjTL /cat XeiorrjTi Sta^couaas'. ei 
8c /cat rrjv o\ivpvav nap Alyvnrlois jSaA 1 KaXovow, 
e£epp.r)vevdev 8e tovto /LtaAtara <£oa£et tt}s 7rX-q- 
pcbcrecjs 1 eKcrKopTriopLov, eoTW fjv Kal tovto p,ap- 
TVpiav TO) Xoyoj tt\s atrtas 1 8L8u)Oiv. 
E 80. To 8e Kv<f>i jLtety/za fiev eKKaioeKa fiepcbv* 
ovvTidefJLevojv eort, /xeAtros" /cat olvov /cat OTa<j>i8os 
Kal Kvirepov, prfTivris T€ Kal ojjLvpprjs Kal dona- 
XdOov Kal aeoeXews, Irt 8e crxlvov T€ Kal olg^oXtov 
/cat dpvov* /cat Xairddov, npos 8e tovtois apKcvdihojv 

dfJL(f)OLV, 0)V T7]V JX€V /X€t£om TTjV 8' iXaTTOVa 

KaXovoi, Kal Kap8ajJLa)jJLov Kal KaXdfiov. avv- 
TiOevTai 8* oi>x oiTios cru^ey, dXXd ypapLp,aTa)i> 
lepwv tols fivpetpots, oTav rai/Ta fietyvvajow, aVa- 
yiyva>OKo\iivaw. tov 8* dpiQp,6v t el Kal Trdvv 8oKel 
TeTpdyiovos otto TeTpayojvov /cat povos k'xojv tojv 
Ioojv loaKis dpiOfJLtov 6 Tip ^a)pta> ttjv irepip.eTpov 

1 /3aA] oaX Iablonski. 

2 7r\T)pu>0€ws F.C.B. : \r)pyo€cos. 

3 fiepcov Emperius : iivwv. 

4 Opvov] 6vov Strijd. 

6 r<Zv ioojv . . . dpidfi<Zv Wyttenbach ; rov taov . . . dpiOpov. 

186 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 383 

bring relief to pestilential affections by making a large 
blazing fire, for this rarefies the air. But the rarefica- 
tion is more effective if they burn fragrant woods, such 
as that of the cypress, the juniper, and the pine. At 
any rate, they say that Acron, the physician in Athens 
at the time of the great plague, won great repute by 
prescribing the lighting of a fire beside the sick, and 
thereby he helped not a few. Aristotle a says that 
fragrant exhalations from perfumes and flowers and 
meadows are no less conducive to health than to 
pleasure, inasmuch as by their warmth and lightness 
they gently relax the brain, which is by nature cold 
and frigid. If it is true that among the Egyptians 
they call myrrh " bal," and that this being interpreted 
has the particular meaning " the dissipation of 
repletion/' then this adds some testimony to our 
account of the reason for its use. 

80. Cyphi b is a compound composed of sixteen 
ingredients : honey, wine, raisins, cyperus, resin, 
myrrh, aspalathus, seselis, mastich, bitumen, rush, 
sorrel, and in addition to these both the junipers, of 
which they call one the larger and one the smaller, 
cardamum, and calamus. These are compounded, not 
at random, but while the sacred writings are being 
read to the perfumers as they mix the ingredients. 
As for this number, even if it appears quite clear that 
it is the square of a square and is the only one of the 
numbers forming a square that has its perimeter equal 

Cf. Rose, Aristoteles Pseudepigraphus y p. 233. 

b Cf. M tiller, Frag. Hist. Oraec. ii. p. 616 (Manetho, 
frag. 84). An interesting note in Parthey's edition (pp. 
277-280) describes the different kinds of cyphi mentioned 
in ancient writers, and gives in modern terms recipes for 
three. 

187 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

F tarjv dyaoOat 1 TTpoorjKovraJS eXdx^ra pryriov els 
ye rovro ovvepyelv , aAAa rd 2 nXeiara tu>i> avX- 
XapL^avojJbevcov apcojiariKas eypvra Swa/xet? yXvi<v 
7TV€VfJia /cat XP 7 ] GT V 1/ fLG0iqow avaOvpLtacnv, v(f>' fjs 
o r drjp rpeiTOfjievos /cat to aa>/xa Sta rrjs Trvofjs 

KlVOV\L€VOV AetCUS" 3 Kol TTpoa^VCO^ VTTVOV T€ 5 K(U 

Kpaoiv eTraycoyov tp-^et KaL T( * XvTrrjpd /cat ovvrova 

rcov piedrjpepLvajv (fypovrtScov dvev jJLzdrjs olov 

334 dpLfxara X a ^9- KaL StaAuer /cat to (fxxvTaoTiKOv /cat 

SeKTLKOV OV€Lp(X)V [JLOpLOV tOOTTtp KCLTOTTTpOV 0770- 

AeatVet /cat 7rotet KaOapcorepov ovSev rjrrov r) ra 
Kpovfiara rrjs Xvpas, oh ixpojvro rrpo rtov vttvojv 
oi Hv6ay6p€LOi, to epirades /cat dXoyov rrjs fax^S 
e^eirahovres ovra> /cat depaTrevovres . ra yap 
OG<f>pavrd 77-oAAa/ci? /xev r^ aiod-qotv aTToXtiTTOvoav 
aVa/caAetrat, TroAAa/cts' Se rrdXiv d/x/?AiWt /cat 
KarrjpefJiL^et Stax^opievojv iv Tip oxu/xaTt rcuv ara- 
Xopbdrojv vrro XeiorrjTOS' tbarrep eVtot raw larpcov 
rov vttvov ZyyLyveoOai Xeyovotv, orav rj rrjs rpo- 
<f)7]s dvadvpLtaois olov epTrovaa Acta)? Trepl rd 
B orrXdyxvo: /cat tfj7]Xa(f>a)cra notfj 6 tlvol yapyaXicrpov. 
Tcp Se KV<t>i xp<*> VTal KaL TTOjpLari /cat ^ptjLtart 7, 
Trcvopevov yap So/cet ra ivrog Kadaipeiv (Ls 9 
Xprj {xaXaKTiKov ov* aVeu Se tovtojv prjrlvT] \xcv 

» >/ f \ / \ / 10 * * **\ 11 

eaTty epyov tjAlov /cat apvpva irpos rr)v eiArjv re v 

(f)VTO)V eKhaKpVOVTOJV . TOW Se TO /c£(£t aVVTlQeVTCuV 

1 ayaodai F.C.B. ; dyaTT&crOai Wyttenbach : dyayeaOai. 

2 aAAa ra Markland: aua. 3 Aeuos Reiske: Seta)?. 

4 irpooiqvojs Meziriacus : irpos rj^ds. 

5 vttvov re Meziriacus: vmvovTai. 

6 77-0177 Markland: Trotci. 7 xptuari Paton : Kpdfiari. 

8 ^<? added by F.C.B. 

9 oV added by Wyttenbach. 

188 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 383-384 

to its area, a and deserves to be admired for this reason, 
yet it must be said that its contribution to the topic 
under discussion is very slight. Most of the materials 
that are taken into this compound, inasmuch as they 
have aromatic properties, give forth a sweet emanation 
and a beneficent exhalation, by which the air is 
changed, and the body, being moved gently and 
softly b by the current, acquires a temperament con- 
ducive to sleep ; and the distress and strain of our daily 
carking cares, as if they were knots, these exhala- 
tions relax and loosen without the aid of wine. The 
imaginative faculty that is susceptible to dreams it 
brightens like a mirror, and makes it clearer no less 
effectively than did the notes of the lyre which the 
Pythagoreans c used to employ before sleeping as a 
charm and a cure for the emotional and irrational in 
the soul. It is a fact that stimulating odours often 
recall the failing powers of sensation, and often again 
lull and quiet them when their emanations are diffused 
in the body by virtue of their ethereal qualities ; 
even as some physicians state that sleep supervenes 
when the volatile portion of our food, gently perme- 
ating the digestive tract and coming into close contact 
with it, produces a species of titillation. 

They use cyphi as both a potion and a salve ; 
for taken internally it seems to cleanse properly the 
internal organs, since it is an emollient. Apart from 
this, resin and myrrh result from the action of the 
sun when the trees exude them in response to the 
heat. Of the ingredients which compose cyphi, 

a Cf. 367 f, supra. b Cf. Moralia, 1087 e. 

* Cf. Plato, Timaeus, 45 d, and Quintilian, ix. 4. 12. 

10 ofivpva Squire and one ms. : oyivpvav. 
11 clXrjv Reiske : aeX'qvrjv. 

189 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(384) €<jtw a vvktI x a ^P €L /^ctAAo^, axiTrep oaa 7TV€vp,acri 
ifjvxpols Kal (JKials Kal 8pocrois Kal vyporrjai 

Tp€(j)€<J0ai 7T€<f>VK€V. €7T€L TO T7]S r)p,£pa$ (f)tbs €V 

fji€V iart Kal a/nXovv Kal rov yjXiov 6 Tliv&apos 
opaaOai </>7)glv " iprjpias 1 hi aldepos"' 6 8e vvktc- 
C pivos dr]p Kpafia Kal cruti,/xeiy/xa iroWcov yiyove 
<f)d)Ta)v Kal Swdfiewv, olov o7T€ppidrwv els €v drro 
7ravr6s aarpov Karappeovroyv . eiKOTCOs ovv eKeiva 
\xh> cos* aTrAa Kal a</>' rjXlov rrjv yeveaiv ex oVTa Si* 
rjiiepas, ravra S' ws ttct/cra /cat 7ra^roSa7Ta rat? 
TTOior-qaiv apxop>€vrjs vvktos €7n6vjMico<jL. 
1 ipr^ias Pindar : ip-qfi-qs. 

° Pindar, Olympian Odes, i. 6. 

b Some think the essay ends too abruptly ; others think it 



190 



ISIS AND OSIRIS, 384 

there are some which delight more in the night, that 
is, those which are wont to thrive in cold winds and 
shadows and dews and dampness. For the light of 
day is single and simple, and Pindar a says that the 
sun is seen " through the deserted aether." But the 
air at night is a composite mixture made up of many 
lights and forces, even as though seeds from every 
star were showered down into one place. Very 
appropriately, therefore, they burn resin and myrrh 
in the daytime, for these are simple substances 
and have their origin from the sun ; but the cyphi, 
since it is compounded of ingredients of all sorts of 
qualities, they offer at nightfall. 6 

is quite complete ; each reader may properly have his own 
opinion. 



191 



THE E AT DELPHI 

(DE E APUD DELPHOS) 



INTRODUCTION 

Plutarch, in this essay on the E at Delphi, tells us 
that beside the well-known inscriptions at Delphi 
there was also a representation of the letter E, the 
fifth letter of the Greek alphabet. The Greek name 
for this letter was EI, and this diphthong, in addition 
to being used in Plutarch's time as the name of E 
(which denotes the number five), is the Greek word 
for " if," and also the word for the second person 
singular of the verb " to be M (thou art). 

In searching for an explanation of the unexplain- 
able it is only natural that the three meanings of EI 
("five," "if," "thou art") should be examined to see if 
any hypothesis based on any one of them might 
possibly yield a rational explanation ; and these 
hypotheses constitute the skeleton about which is 
built the body of Plutarch's essay. From it we gain 
some interesting delineations of character and an 
engaging portrayal of the way in which a philosopher 
acts, or reacts, when forced unwillingly to face the 
unknowable. 

Plutarch puts forward seven possible explanations 
of the letter : 

(1) It was dedicated by the Wise Men, as a protest 
against interlopers, to show that their number was 
actually five and not seven (EI = E, five). 
194 



THE E AT DELPHI 

(2) EI is the second vowel, the Sun is the second 
planet, and Apollo is identified with the sun (EI = E, 
the vowel). 

(3) EI means " if " : people ask the oracle IF 
they shall succeed, or IF they shall do this or that 
(EI = "if"). 

(4) EI is used in wishes or prayers to the god, 
often in the combination eWe or el yap (EI = "if" or 
"if only"). 

(5) EI, " if," is an indispensable word in logic for 
the construction of a syllogism (EI = " if "). 

(6) Five is a most important number in mathe- 
matics, physiology, philosophy, and music (EI = E, 
" five "). 

(7) EI means " thou art " and is the address of the 
consultant to Apollo, to indicate that the god has 
eternal being (EI = " thou art ").° 

Attempts to explain the letter have been also made 
in modern times by Gottling, Berichte der Sachs. 
Gesell der Wiss. I. (1846-47) pp. 311 ff., and by 
Schultz in Philologus (1866), pp. 214 fF. Roscher, in 
Philologus (1900), pp. 21 ff. ; (1901), pp. 81 fF. ; (1902), 
pp. 513 fF. ; Hermes (1901), pp. 470 ff. (comment also by 
C. Robert in the same volume, p. 490), and the Philo- 
logische Wochenschrift (1922), col. 121 1, maintains that 
EI is an imperative from e7/.u 9 "go," addressed to the 
person who came to consult the oracle, and that it 
means " go on," " continue " into the temple. The 
value of this explanation is somewhat doubtful, 
since EI in this word (et/xi) is a true diphthong, 
and so is not generally spelled with simple E 
except in the Corinthian alphabet. Although 

* This explanation is accepted by Poulsen (Delphi, p. 
149), but is open to very serious objections. 

195 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

Roscher cites a few examples from inscriptions in 
other dialects where the true diphthongal EI seems 
to be represented by simple E, his evidence is not 
convincing. 

O. Lagercrantz, in Hermes, xxxvi. (1901) pp. 411 ff., 
interprets the E as meaning rj "he said." To this, of 
course, Roscher objects andsuggests that Lagercrantz 
might have thought also of i] " verily.' ' Thus all the 
various possibilities of interpretation have in turn 
been suggested, and rejected by others. 

W. N. Bates, in the American Journal of Archaeology , 
xxix. (1925) pp. 239-246, tries to show that the E 
had its origin in a Minoan character E associated 
with (\E (as is shown by the evidence of a Cretan gem 
in the Metropolitan Museum of New York) and later 
transferred to Delphi. Since the character was not 
understood, it, like other things at Delphi, came to 
be associated with Apollo. This character has been 
found on the old omphalos discovered in 1913 at 
Delphi in the temple of Apollo. a 

Interesting are the two coins reproduced in Imhoof- 
Blumer and P. Gardner, A Numismatic Commentary on 
Pausanias, plate x. nos. xxii. and xxiii. (text, p. 119)> 
which show the E suspended between the middle 
columns of the temple. Learned scholars should 
note that the letter represented is E, not EI : there- 

° It might also be recorded that J. E. Harrison, in 
Comptes Rendu* du Congres International d^Archeologie 
(Athens, 1905), thinks that the E was " originally three 
betyl stones or pillars placed on a basis and representing 
the three Charites " ! Moreover, C. Fries, in Rheinisches 
Museum fur Philologie, lxxix. (1930) 343-344, offers as 
" nodi explicatio " the fact that in Sumerian inscriptions E 
means house or temple, and so may be connected with 
Babylonian ritual (note the Chaldean in chap, iv.) I 

196 



THE E AT DELPHI 

fore such explanations as are based on the true 
diphthong are presumably wrong. 

The title of the essay is included in the catalogue of 
Lamprias, where it appears as No. 117. It is not 
infrequently quoted or referred to by later writers. 
It has been separately edited by Bernardakis in the 
volume of essays in honour of Ernst Curtius, Leipzig, 
1894. Of interest is also The Delphic Maxims in 
Literature, by Eliza Gregory Wilkins, Chicago, 1929. 



197 



(384) IIEPI TOY EI TOT EN AEA<POK>J 

TA IIPOZftllA TOT AIAAOFOT 

AMMANIOS, AAMIIPIA2, IIAOTTAPXOS, 0EHN, 
ET2TPO*02, NIKANAP02 

D 1. SrA^tStots" Tiarlv ov (f>avXu>s ex oV€riv > ^ <f>&* 
Tiapaniajv, Ivlrvypv irpoji^v, a At/catapxo9 Eupt- 
ttlStjv oterat 77/309 'Apx^Xaov efareiv 

ov fiovAofxai ttXovtovvti Sa>petcr#ai nevqs, 
jxrj jx d(f>pova Kpivrjs rj 81801)9 atretv So/coj. 

Xapi^ercu jxev yap ovhev 6 81801)9 an 6Xiya>v puKpa. 

TOLS TToAAa K€KTrUJL€l'OLS, a7TLaTOVfX€VOS 8' dVrt fJLrj- 

Sevos ScSoVat KaKorjOetas Kal aveXevdeplas Trpoa- 
E Aa/xj8dVet Sd£av. 6'pa 8rj ooov iXevOepiorrjri /cat 
KaXXei tol xprjfjiaTiKa 8a>pa ActVerat r&v a/no Xoyov 
Kal aortas, a 1 Kal oihovai KaXov iari Kal Stoovras 
avrairelv o/xota rrapd tcov XapbfiavovTOJV . eyoj yow 
7rpo9 oe /cat Sta ere rot9 avroOt <^t'Aoi9 ra>i> IIt;#t/c6jy 
Aoyojv €Viovs (x)a7T€p anapxas aTroareXXajv, 6/JLoXoyco 
TrpoohoKav €T€povs Kal TrXetovas /cat peXrlovag Trap' 
vfxcov, are 8rj /cat -rroAet \pod\xevayv (jL€ydXrj Kal 
1 a added by Madvig. 

a A poet living at Athens in Plutarch's day ; see Moralia, 
396 d ff. and 628 a. 

198 



THE E AT DELPHI 

(The persons who take part in the conversation are : 
Ammonius, Lamprias, Plutarch, Tiieon, Eustrophus, Nic- 
ander, and others whose names are not given.) 

1. Not long ago, my dear Sarapion, a I came upon 
some lines, not badly done, which Dicaearchus thinks 
Euripides b addressed to Archelaiis : 

I will not give poor gifts to one so rich, 
Lest you should take me for a fool, or I 
Should seem by giving to invite a gift. 

For he does no favour who gives small gifts from 
scanty means to wealthy men ; and since it is not 
credible that his giving is tor nothing, he acquires 
in addition a reputation for disingenuousness and 
servility. Observe also how, as far as independence 
and honour are concerned, material gifts fall far 
below those bestow r ed by literary discourse and 
wisdom ; and these gifts it is both honourable to 
give and, at the same time, to ask a return of like 
gifts from the recipients. I, at any rate, as I send 
to you, and by means of you for our friends there, 
some of our Pythian discourses, an offering of our 
first-fruits, as it were, confess that I am expecting 
other discourses, both more numerous and of better 
quality, from you and your friends, inasmuch as 
you have not only all the advantages of a great 

b Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag., Euripides, no. 969. 

199 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

axoXrjs fxaXXov iv fiifiXioLs ttoXXoXs koll TravroSaTTats 
hiarpifials evTropovvrojv . 

S ovv tyXos 1 AttoXXojv €olk€ ras /xev 7T€pl rov 

F j8tW aTropias laodat /cat StaAuetr Oepaorevajv rots 
XP<*>p<€vois , ras Se Trepl rov Xoyov avrog Iviivai 
/cat rrpo^aXXeiv rep <f>voet <f>iXoo6<f>oj , rfj ipvxf] 2 ope^Lv 
€[jl7to ia>v dyojyov em rr)v dXrjdeLav, a%s dXXois re 
ttoXXols 8rjX6v eon /cat rfj nepl 3 rov et /cafltcpaWet. 
rovro yap elt<6s ov Kara rv^-qv ouS' ofoy drro 
kXtjpov ra>v ypapcpbdrajv pbovov ev rrpoehpia rrapa 
385 ra> deep yeveodac /cat Xafielv dvad-rjpLaros rd^iv iepov 
/cat Oedfiaros' dAA' r) Siivapuv avrov KariSovras 
18 lav /cat 7reptrrr)v t} ovpLpoXto ^pa>/xeVot»s' irpos 
erepov ri rcov a^iojv arrovSrjs rovs ev dpxfj Trepl 
rov 6eov (^LXooo^rjoavras , ovro) rrpodeodai} 

UoXXaKis ovv dXXore rov Xoyov ev rfj oxoXfj 
rrpofSaXXopLevov e/c/cAtVa? drpepua /cat napeXOojv, 
evayxos vtto rwv vltov i\rpf>(h\v £evois Ttat avpi- 
<f>cXoripLOvpLevos, ovs ev6vs €/c AeX<f>a>v airaipeiv 
/xeXXovras ovk rjv evTTpeires Trapdyeiv ov8e irapai- 
relodat, Trdvrojg d/cotxratrt 7Tpo6vpLovp,evovs . coore 6 

B Kadioas 7T€pl rov vewv rd p,ev avros rjp^dfjLrjv ^rjretv, 
rd 8* €K€ivov£ ipwrav, vtto rov rorrov /cat rcov Xoyojv 
avrcov dvepLvrjaOrjv* a 7raAat irore /ca#' ov Kaipdv eV- 

1 <f>l\os] </>iX6<jo<f>os E. Harrison. 

8 r V faxfi seems to be required by ifnrouZv, although some 
construe it differently : rijs ^vx^s. 

3 Reiske would omit trepl, 

4 rrpodiadai] most mss. have 7rpoo€odai, 

5 cuore F.C.B. : ws 8k. 

6 av€fivrja07}v added by Meziriacus. 

• At this time Athens had been for several centuries a 
university city. 
200 



THE E AT DELPHI, 384-385 

city, a but you have also more abundant leisure amid 
many books and all manner of discussions. 

It seems that our beloved Apollo finds a remedy 
and a solution for the problems connected with our 
life by the oracular responses which he gives to those 
who consult him ; but the problems connected with 
our power to reason it seems that he himself launches 
and propounds to him who is by nature inclined to the 
love of knowledge, thus creating in the soul a craving b 
that leads onward to the truth, as is clear in many other 
ways, but particularly in the dedication of the E. c 
For the likelihood is that it was not by chance nor, as 
it were, by lot that this was the only letter that came 
to occupy first place with the god and attained the 
rank of a sacred offering and something worth seeing ; 
but it is likely that those who, in the beginning, sought 
after knowledge of the god either discovered some 
peculiar and unusual potency in it or else used it as a 
token with reference to some other of the matters of 
the highest concern, and thus adopted it. 

On many other occasions when the subject had 
been brought up in the school I had quietly turned 
aside from it and passed it over, but recently I was 
unexpectedly discovered by my sons in an animated 
discussion with some strangers, whom, since they 
purposed to leave Delphi immediately, it was not 
seemly to try to divert from the subject, nor was it 
seemly for me to ask to be excused from the dis- 
cussion, for they were altogether eager to hear some- 
thing about it. I found them seats, therefore, near 
the temple, and I began to seek some answer myself 
and to put questions to them ; influenced as I was by 
the place and the conversation itself, I remembered 

b Cf Moralia, 673 b. • Cf 426 e, infra. 

201 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(385) eo??/zet Nepcov rjKovvaiitv 'Afifiwviov /cat tlvojv 
aAAow Sl€^l6vtojv, ivravOa rrjs avrrjs drropias 

OfJLOLOJS €jX7T€aOV<77]^ . 

2. "On jikv yap ovx fjrrov 6 6eos <f>iX6ao<f>os rj 
fjLavTis iSoKei 1 rraoiv opOws rrpog tovto tojj> dvo- 
tiarcov Zkclotov 'A/x/xcorto? rtdeadat /cat StSdovccu', 

U)S TlvOlOS JJL€V €<JTA. ToZ$ dpXOJA€VOlS fiavddvetV KCLL 

8ia7Tvv6dvecF0aL' ArjXios 8e /cat Oayatos oh 17817 rt 
C SrjXovrat, /cat V7ro<f>aiv€rai rrjs dXrjOelas* > lop,rjVL09 
§€ rot? %x ovai r W €7TLarrifjLrjv, /cat A&oxr)v6pios 2 
orav ivepyaxn /cat a7roAai;a)at xpoj/x€i>ot ra> Sta- 
Xzyeodai /cat <f>iXooo<f>eiv TTpos dAAijAous. " €7ret Se 
rou (f>iXoao(f)€Lv ," €<f)rj t ll to £r}T€iv dpXV> T °v ^ 
tflrelv* to davfid^eiv /cat diropzlv, €lkotojs tgl ttoXXol 
tojv 7repl tov Oedv €olk€v atvtyttaat KaraKeKpv^dac, 
/cat Xoyov revd rroOovvra Sta. rl /cat StSao/caAtW rrjs 
atrt'as" otov hr\ rod rrvpos tov dOavaTov, to /catc- 
cr#at \16vov clvt69i tcov £vX<jdv iXaTrjv, /cat Sd<f>vr]v 
€7nQvp.iaodai, /cat to Svo Moipas ISpvodai rravTaxov 
Tptojv vofxt^opbevajv, /cat to p/qSeiua ywat/ct 7rp6s to 
D X? r ) OT '^\? l0V et vcu TTpooeXdeiv, /cat to tou TpLTroSos, 
/cat oaa TOiavTa, toIs fir] iravTaTjaaiv dAoyot? /cat 
diftvxots v(f)€Lfi€va SeAcd^et /cat rrapaKaXet 7rp6? to 
OKOTreiv Tt /cat d/couetv /cat SiaXeyeodac irepi auTcDv. 

1 €8oK« Turnebus : 8o*€t. 

2 Acaxrjvopios Xy lander : X4ax r l v opios. 
8 dpxn added by Cobet, tov 8c C-qreiv by Paton ; cf. Plato, 

TheaetetuSy 155 D. 

C/. 303 u, infra ; Cornutus, chap, xxxii. ; von Arnim, 
Sfoicorum VeUrum Fragmenta, i. 543 (p. 123) ; and u Apollo " 
in the Index thereto. 
202 



THE E AT DELPHI, 385 

what, when Nero was here some years ago, I had 
heard Ammonius and others discussing, when the 
same question obtruded itself in a similar way. 

2. That the god is no less a philosopher than a 
prophet Ammonius seemed to all to pos tulate and prove 
correctly, with reference to this or to that one of his 
several titles a ; that he is the " Pythian n (Inquirer) 
for those that are beginning to learn and inquire ; 
the " Delian " (Clear) and the * Phanaean ' (Dis- 
closing) for those to whom some part of the truth is 
becoming clear and is being disclosed ; the ' Ismenian ' J 
(Knowing) for those who have knowledge ; and the 
" Leschenorian " (Conversationalist) when people have 
active enjoyment of conversation and philosophic 
intercourse with one another. " Since," he went on 
to say, " inquiry is the beginning of philosophy, and 
wonder and uncertainty the beginning of inquiry, it 
seems only natural that the greater part of what 
concerns the god should be concealed in riddles, and 
should call for some account of the wherefore and an 
explanation of its cause. For example, in the case of 
the undying fire, that pine is the only wood burned 
here, while laurel is used for offering incense ; that 
two Fates have statues here/* whereas three is every- 
where the customary number ; that no woman e 
is allowed to approach the prophetic shrine ; the 
matter of the tripod ; and the other questions of 
this nature, when they are suggested to persons who 
are not altogether without mind and reason, act as a 
lure and an invitation to investigate, to read, and to 

b Plutarch's attempt to connect Ismenian with 18- (otha) 
can hardly be right. 

• Cf. Plato, Theaetetus, 155 d. 
d Cf. Pausanias, x. 24. 4. 

• Cf. Euripides, Ion, c 222. 

203 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(385) opa he /cat tclvti ra TrpoypdfAfjLaTa, to ' yvtodi 
aavTov ' Kal to * fxrjSev dyav,' oaas ^TijcreLs 
K€KivrjK€ <f>i\oo6(f>ovs Kal oaov Xoycjv TrXijdos d<f>* 
€KaaTov KaOarrep drro oirepfiaTos dvarrecfrvKev <Lv 
ov8evos 'rpTov ot/zat yovifiov Xoyatv 1 etvat to vvv 
£,r)Tovp,evov." 

3. T&Ittovtos 8e %avTa tov 'Ajjl/jlojvIov, AajXTTplas 
6 doeX<f)6s etrre " /cat fJL-fjv ov rifieis aKr^Koafjuev Xoyov 
dirXovs tIs icTTt Kal KOfxtSfj fipaxvs. Xeyovac ydp 

E €K€WOVS TOV$ GO(f)OVS VIT* eVCOJV he GOcfrlGTaS TTpOG- 

ayopevdevTas avTovs p>ev elvai rrevTe, Xt'Aawa /cat 
©aA^y Kal HoXojva Kal Bt'avTa /cat UtTTaKov eirel 
8e KXeoftovXos 6 Awhiojv Tvpavvos, eVra Ylepiav- 
hpos 6 KoptVfltos, ovhev avTols dpeTrjs p,eTov ovhe 
oo<f>ias, dXXd hwdfiei Kal <f>lXois /cat \dpiGi KaTa- 
/?ta£d/x£*>ot ttjv ho^av, evefiaXov els Tovvojjua tG>v 
oo<f>CL)v Kal Tivas yvwfxas Kal Xoyovs e^eTTefjurrov Kal 
hiecnreipov els ttjv 'EAAaSa tois im* eKeivojv Xeyo- 
fievots Ofiolovs' Svox^pdvavTas dpa tovs dvhpas 
e£eXeyX€i>v p>ev ovk eOeXetv ttjv dXa^ovetav ovhe 
F <f>avepa)s vrrep ho£r)s drrexOdveodai Kal 8ta/za*xea#ai. 
vpos dv6pa)7TOVs fieya hwafievovs , evTavOa ok ovv- 
eXOovTas avTovs icaO* avTovs Kal hiaXexOevTas 
dAA^Aots, dvadelvat, tlov ypap,p,aTOJV o tt} re Ta^ei 

TTeflTTTOV £&tI Kal TOV dplOfJLOV Ta TT€VT€ hrjXol, 

fiapTvpofJievovs {lev vnep avTa>v rrpos tov deov otl 
*nevT etat, tov 8' efihopbov Kal tov cktov 2 diroTTOLov- 
fievovs Kal aTTofidXXovTas ojs ov TrpoorjKovTas av- 
tols. oti 8* ovk drro okottov TavTa XeyeTai, yvoit) 
rts dv aKovaas tu>v /cara to lepov to fxev xp va °vv el 

1 Xoyojv Madvig: Xoyov. 
2 rov he €ktov Kal tov fpSofiAv Reiske. 

204 



THE E AT DELPHI, 385 

talk about them. Note also these inscriptions a here, 
1 Know thyself ' and ' Avoid extremes/ how many 
philosophic inquiries have they set on foot, and what 
a horde of discourses has sprung up from each, as 
from a seed ! And no less productive of discourse 
than any one of them, as I think, is the present subject 
of inquiry.* * 

3. When Ammonius had said this, Lamprias, my 
brother, said, " As a matter of fact, the account that 
we have heard is simple and quite brief. For they 
say that those wise men who by some are called 
the ' Sophists ' were actually five in number : Chilon, 
Thales, Solon, Bias, and Pittacus. But when Cleo- 
bulus, the despot of the Lindians, and later Periander 
of Corinth, who had no part or portion in virtue or 
wisdom, but forcibly acquired their repute through 
power and friends and favours, invaded this name of 
the Wise Men, and sent out and circulated throughout 
Greece certain sentiments and sayings very similar 
to those famous utterances of the Wise Men, these, 
naturally, did not like this at all, but were loath to 
expose the imposture or to arouse open hatred over 
a question of repute, or to carry through a contest 
against such powerful men ; they met here by them- 
selves and, after conferring together, dedicated that 
one of the letters which is fifth in alphabetical order 
and which stands for the number five, thus testifying 
for themselves before the god that they were five, 
and renouncing and rejecting the seventh and the 
sixth as having no connexion with themselves. That 
this account is not beside the mark anyone may 
realize who has heard those connected with the shrine 

° Cf. Moralia, 164 b, 408 e, 511 a. 

205 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

AtjSta? rrjs Katcrapo? yvvaiKos 6vop,a£6vTa>v , to Se 

386 x a ^ K °vv A(hjvaia>v to Se irpcoTov /cat TraXaiorarov 

rfj S' ovoia £vXivov en vvv tcov oocjtcov kolXovctlv, 

cos ovx 6W5 dXXd kolvov dvd$t)p,a TrdvTCOV yevo- 

fJL€VOV." 

4. *0 (JL€V OVV 'AjJLfJLcbviOS TJVVXfj Ste/XetStCUTeV , 

tWoyo^CFas' tSta to^ AapLTrplav Sd^fl /cexp-yjaflai, 
TrXdrreadai S* loroplav /cat aKofjv iripuw rrpos to 

dvV7T€v8vi>OV . €T€pO$ Se' Tt? e^T} TOW TTOLpOVTCOV COS 

ofioia tglvt icrrlv ols 7rpa)rjv 6 XaASato? i<f)Xvdpec 
^€Vos, eVra fiev elvat, to. ficovrjv Ihiav dfiUvTa icov 
ypa/jLjjLaTCov , C7rra Se tovs klvtjglv avTOTeXrj /cat 
aovvhtTOV iv ovpavco Kivovpuevovs doTepas' elvcu 
B Se ttj ra£et Seurepov to t et tcov cf>covr)€VTcov a7r' 
dpXys KaL rov t)Xiov diro oeXrjvrjs tow irXavrJTCOV 
tjXloj 8' 'ArrdAAoji'a tov olvtov cos €7tos €L7T€lv irdvTas 
"EAAT^a? vo[al£,€w. ' l dXXd tclvtl fiev, ' ' e^>r\ y ' ' rravTa - 

7T0LOLV €K TTLVOLKOS KCU TTvXalaS." 

'0 Se Aa/JLTTplas eXadev, cos eot/ce, tovs dfi tepou 
/altera? e'm tov clvtov Xoyov. a fiev yap e'/cetvos 
ttirev, ouSets* eyiyvcooKe AeXcfccov ttjv Se koivtjv /cat 
7repL7]yr)TLKrjv So^av ets r6 fiecrov Trporjyov, ovt€ ttjv 
oifjiv d^LovvTes ovt€ tov (j)66yyov dXXd TOiivofxa 
fjuovov tov ypdfAfjLOLTos *X €Cl/ TC vvpLpoXov, (5.) " ecrrt 
ydp, cos vTroXcLfipdvovoL AeA^ot/' xal 1 totc* irpo- 
C rjyopcov eAeye Nt/cavSpos 6 Upevs, " a^Tj/xa 3 /cat 
fJiop(f)r) TTJs Trpos tov deov ivTevtjecos, /cat ra£ty 

1 *al del. Stegmann. 

2 /cat rdre Wyttcnbach : Kal re or ye. 

3 crx^jfioi Meziriacus : oxmiQ.. 

a Of. Moralia, 1130 a or 381 f, supra, or 393 c, in/ra. 
206 



THE E AT DELPHI, 385-386 

naming the golden E the E of Li via, Caesar's wife, 
and the bronze E the E of the Athenians, while the 
first and oldest one, made of wood, they still call to 
this day the E of the Wise Men, as though it were an 
offering, not of one man, but of all the Wise Men in 
common/' 

4. Ammonias smiled quietly, suspecting privately 
that Lamprias had been indulging in a mere opinion 
of his own and was fabricating history and tradition 
regarding a matter in which he could not be held 
to account. Someone else among those present said 
that all this was similar to the nonsense which the 
Chaldean visitor had uttered a short time before : 
that there are seven vowels in the alphabet and seven 
stars that have an independent and unconstrained 
motion ; that E is the second in order of the vowels 
from the beginning, and the sun the second planet after 
the moon, and that practically all the Greeks identify 
Apollo with the Sun. a "But all this," said he, "has 
its source in slate and prate b and in nothing else." 

Apparently Lamprias had unwittingly stirred up 
the persons connected with the temple against his 
remarks. For what he had said no one of the Del- 
phians knew anything about ; but they were used to 
bring forward the commonly accepted opinion which 
the guides give, holding it to be right that neither the 
appearance nor the sound of the letter has any cryptic 
meaning, but only its name. (5.) " For it is, as the 
Delphians assume," — and on this occasion Nicander, 
the priest, spoke for them and said, " the figure and 
form of the consultation of the god, and it holds the 

* An expression as obscure in the Greek as in the English. 
It means, apparently, " idle talk." C/. S. A. Naber, Mnemo- 
syne, xxviii, (1900) p. 134. 

207 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(386) rjyefjLoviKTjv ev toXs epcoT^fiacnv e^et tcov xp^fievcov 
eKaarore /cat hiarrvvdavopievcov el vucqaovaw , €t 
yafirjcrovcriv , el avfi^epet nXelv, el yecopyelv, el airo- 
SrjfJieLV. rots oe 8iaAeKTu<oZs -^aipeiv eXeye crowds 
cov 6 6eos, ovSev olofievois 1 £k tov * el ' fiopiov /cat 
tov per* avrov d^icofxaTos Trpaypia ylyveodai, travels 
tols epcoT-qoeis vnojeTayfievas tovt<jo /cat vocov cbs 
irpdyixara /cat 7TpocnefjLevos. errel S' ISiov to epco- 
rdv cos fidvTcv ecrrlv rjfjuv /cat to evxeaOou kolvov 
cbs rrpos 6e6v, oi>x tjttov otovrai rrjs 7rev&TiKrjs rrjv 
D evKTLKrjv to ypafifxa TTeptexetv ovvapuv * el yap 
co<f>eXov, f (f>r)olv eKaoros tcov evxofMevcov, /cat *Apxl- 
Xoxos 

el yap cos 2 ifiol yevoiro X € W a Neo/JouArys 1 BtyeZv. 

/cat rod ' eWe * ttjv SevTepav avXXafirjv* 7rap- 
eXKeaOal <f>acnv, olov to Hcb<f>povos 

a/xa tIkvcov Qrjv oevofieva* 

/cat to *0/JLr)piK6v 

cos drjv /cat gov eyco Xvoco fievos* 

ev A 8e tco ' el ' to evKTLKov /cat diroxpoiVTCOs 
oj)Xovcr9ai." 

6. Taura tov Nt/cdVSpou 8ieX96vTos, olada yap 
8rj Qecova tov eTaZpov, rjpeTO tov ' Ap,jj,coviov el 

1 olofievoLs Xy lander : otd/uevo?. 

2 a>s Wyttenbach : <bs. 

3 Bernardakis would add ajonep /cat to Orjv after avXXaf3r]v, 

4 iv] cv Michael. 

° Of. the long list of questions thus introduced in Hunt 
208 



THE E AT DELPHI, 386 

first place in every question of those who consult the 
oracle and inquire if they shall be victorious, if they 
shall marry, if it is to their advantage to sail the sea, 
if to take to farming, if to go abroad. But the god in 
his wisdom bade a long farewell to the logicians who 
think that nothing real comes out of the particle ' if * 
combined with what the consultant thinks proper to 
undertake, for the god conceives of all the inquiries 
subjoined to this as real things and welcomes them as 
such. And since to inquire from him as from a pro- 
phet is our individual prerogative, but to pray to him 
as to a god is common to all, they think that the 
particle contains an optative force no less than an 
interrogative. ' If only I could/ is the regular 
expression of a wish, and Archilochus b says, 

If to me it might be granted Neobule's hand to touch. 

And in using ' if only ' they assert that the second 
word is added unnecessarily, like Sophron's c 
1 surely ' : 

Surely in want of children as well. 
This is found also in Homer d 

Since I surely shall break your might 

but, as they assert, the optative force is adequately 
indicated by the ' if.' " 

6. When Nicander had expounded all this, my 
friend Theon, whom I presume you know, asked 

and Edgar, Select Papyri (in the L.C.L.), i. pp. 436-438 
(nos. 193-195). 

b Bergk, Poet. Lyr. Graec. ii. p. 402, Archilochus, no. 71; 
or Edmonds, Elegy and Iambus (L.C.L.), ii. p. 134. 

c Kaibel, Comic. Graec, Frag. p. 160, Sophron, no. 36. 

d II. xvii. 29. 

209 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

SiaXeKTLKT] Trapprjoias fxereariv ovrco TTepivfSpiopie- 
E vojg 1 aKTjKovia* rod 8* 'AfJL/xojviov Xeyetv Trapa- 
KeXevop,evoQ /cat fiorjdeZv, " dXX on p>ev," e<f>v), 
" SiaXeKTLKcoraros 6 deos eoTiv, oi ttoXXoI tcov 
Xpycrfjitov 817X0 volv rov yap avrov ?>rj7Tovdev eon 

KOLl XveiV Kal TTOielv o\fJi<f)lf$oALa$ . €Tl 8*, d)OTT€p 

UXdrcov eXeye, XR 7 } ^ ^ hodevros ottojs rov ev 
ArjXip pajfiov SiTrXaoLdoajow , o 7-779 aKpas ei;eu)S 
7T€pl yeu)p,erplav epyov eorlv, ov rovro TTpoordrreiv 
rov deov dXXd yeajfierpeiv 2 oiaKeXeveoOai rocs "EA- 
Xrjariv ovtods dpa xpyvpovs df/,<f>t/36Xovs €K(f>epajv 6 
F Beds av^ei Kal ovvlottjol oiaXeKTLKrjv d)$ dvayKaiav 
rots fieXXovow opdchs avrov ovvrjaecv. ev he 8ta- 
XeKTiKrj hr\7Tov iieyiorrjv e\ei hvvapnv 6 ovvaimKos 
ovrool ovvSeofios, are Br) to XoyiKcorarov o*^- 
fxari^ajv d£ia>/xa* 77009 yap ov roiovro to ovv- 
rjfjLfjievov, el ye ttjs fiev V7rdpt;eu)S rcbv Trpaypbdrajv 
k\ei Kal rd drjpla yvcooiv, aKoXovdov be Oeajpiav 
Kal Kpioiv dvdpa)7TU) [lovco rrapahehajKev r) <f>vois; 
on yap ' 77/xepa ' Kal ' (fcuis eonv ' aloOdvovrai 
387 Stjttov Kal Xvkol Kal Kvves Kal SpvcOes' on 8' ' el 
rjfjiepa, <f>a>s eonv % ovhev dXXo ovvltjol rrXrjv av- 
OpajTTos, 7\yov\ievov Kal Xrjyovros ejx(f>doeojs Te Kal 
ovvapTTjoews tovtojv 777)69 dXXrjXa Kal o^eoeajs Kal 
hia<f>opas jJiovos excov evvoiav, e£ a>v at a7rohei£ei$ 
ttjv KvpioyTaTrpf dpx^jv Xafifidvovoiv. errel toivvv 
<j>iXoao(j>ia [lev eon irepl dX-qOeiav, dXrjQeias 8e 

1 TTcpivppicrfievws F.C.B. : 7T€pivppiafjL€vr) (Blass would add /ecu 
KCLK&s before a/oj/cow'a). 2 Kal yeconerpelv in most mss. 

a Cf. Moralia, 579 b-d ; and on the doubling of the cube, 
T. L. Heath, A Manual of Greek Mathematics (Oxford, 
1931), pp. 154-170. 
210 



THE E AT DELPHI, 386-387 

Ammonius if Logical Reason had any rights in free 
speech, after being spoken of in such a very insulting 
manner. And when Ammonius urged him to speak 
and come to her assistance, he said, " That the god 
is a most logical reasoner the great majority of his 
oracles show clearly ; for surely it is the function of 
the same person both to solve and to invent ambigui- 
ties. Moreover, as Plato said, when an oracle was 
given that they should double the size of the altar at 
Delos a (a task requiring the highest skill in geo- 
metry), it was not this that the god was enjoining, 
but he was urging the Greeks to study geometry. 
And so, in the same way, when the god gives out 
ambiguous oracles, he is promoting and organizing 
logical reasoning as indispensable for those who are 
to apprehend his meaning aright. Certainly in logic 
this copulative conjunction has the greatest force, 
inasmuch as it clearly gives us our most logical form, 
the syllogism. Must not the character of the hypo- 
thetical syllogism be of this sort : granted that even 
wild animals have apperception of the existence of 
things, yet to man alone has Nature given the power 
to observe and judge the consequences ? That ' it is 
day ' and that ' it is light ' assuredly wolves and dogs 
and birds perceive by their senses ; but 'if it is day, 
then it is light,' no creature other than man appre- 
hends, b for he alone has a concept of antecedent and 
consequent, of apparent implication and connexion of 
these things one with another, and their relations and 
differences, from which our demonstrations derive 
their most authoritative inception. Since, then, philo- 
sophy is concerned with truth, and the illumina- 

b C/. von Arnim, Stoicorum Veterum Fragmenta, ii. 216 
(p. 70) and 239 (p. 78). 

211 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(387) <f>o)s amohei^is, airoheit; ecos 8* apx?l to avvi][i[Livov , 
et/corcos' rj tovto ovviyovoa koX Troiovoa Svvafjus 
V7TO ao<f>a>v dvoptov tco fxaXcoTa ttjv dXrjOeiav 
rjya7rrjK6ri dew Kadt,€pd)9rj. 
B ' ' Kat fxavris p<ev 6 Oeos /jlclvtikt] Se riyyy] nepl to 
/jlcXAov €K tcov 7rap6vT(A)v fj 7raptpX7][jL€va)v '. ouSevos 
yap ovr avaiTios rj yiveois ovt dXoyos rj rrpo- 
yvu)Gis m aAA' €7T€t TravTa toIs yeyovoai tcl yiyvo- 
fieva to. T€ y€V7]ar6jJL€va toZs ytyvo/JLevois €7T€tcu kolI 
avvrjpTTjTai kclto. 8t,e£o8ov air' dpx^js € k TeXos 
irepawovaav , 6 tgls curias els tolvto ovvoelv re irpos 
dXXrjXa Kal ovjjl7tX4k€lv <f>voiKcos iTTtOTajjievos olSe 
Kal TrpoXeyetv 

t& t €ovtcl Ta r ioaofjueva irpo t coVra. 

Kal KaXtos "OjJLTjpos 7Tpa>TOv erafe ra irapovTa elra 
to pueXXov Kal to TTap<joyr)p,€vov airo yap tov ovtos 
o ovXXoyiofjios KaTa ttjv tov orvv^fifievov ovvapuv, 
co? €i too €CTTt, to0€ 77 porjyqTai , Kat 7TaAU> €1 
C toS' ccm, roSe yev^oeTai.' to yap TexyiKov Kal 
XoyiKov wo7T€p elptyrai yvwois aKoXovdias, tt]v Se 
7rp6oXr]iffLv rj aLcrdrjcris tw Xoyco 8i8a>oiv. odev, el 
Kal yXioxpov 2 elireiv, ovk drrooTpeifjop^ai tovtov elvai 
tov TTJs dXqOelas rptVoSa tov Xoyov, 09 ttjv tov 
XrjyovTOS irpos to 7rporjyovfJL€vov aKoXovdiav 0ep,evos 
ehra 7TpoaXaf$d>v ttjv vrrap^iv eirdyei to avfJL7T€paojjLa 

T7)S a7To8ei£e<x)S. TOV OVV YlvOiOV, el St) fJLOVOLKrj ff* Z 

1 TTporjyqrai H. Richards : TTporiyeZrcu. 
2 yXioxpov Wyttenbach : aloxpov. 

3 fJLOVOlKTJ d'] flOVOlKfj T€pTT0fJL€VOS P. MaaS. 

Homer, II. i. 70. 
212 



THE E AT DELPHI, 387 

tion of truth is demonstration, and the inception of 
demonstration is the hypothetical syllogism, then with 
good reason the potent element that effects the con- 
nexion and produces this was consecrated by wise 
men to the god who is, above all, a lover of the truth. 

"The god, moreover, is a prophet, and the prophetic 
art concerns the future that is to result from things 
present and past. For there is nothing of which 
either the origin is without cause or the foreknow- 
ledge thereof without reason ; but since all present 
events follow in close conjunction with past events, 
and all future events follow in close conjunction with 
present events, in accordance with a regular pro- 
cedure which brings them to fulfilment from begin- 
ning to end, he who understands, in consonance 
with Nature, how to fathom the connexions and 
interrelations of the causes one with another knows 
and can declare 

What now is, and in future shall be, and has been of afore- 
time. 

Very excellently did Homer place first in order the 
present, then the future and the past, for the syllogism 
based on hypothesis has its source in what is ; for 
example, ' if this is, then that has preceded/ and 
again, * if this is, then that shall be/ The technical 
and rational element here, as has been stated, is the 
knowledge of consequences ; but the senses provide 
the argument with its premise. Therefore, even if 
it be a poor thing to say, I shall not be turned aside 
from saying it, that this is the tripod of truth, namely, 
argument, which lays down the consequent relation 
of the conclusion to the antecedent, and then, pre- 
mising the existent condition, induces the completion 
of the demonstration. Therefore, if the Pythian god 

213 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(387) rjSercu /cat kvkvlov <j>u>vais /cat Kiddpas iJj6(f>ois, ri 
davjiaoTOV iart StaAe ktlktjs <f>i\iq tovt* doird^- 
D crdat rod Aoyov to fiepos /cat dyaTrav, a! /zaAtora 
/cat 7rAetOTa> Trpocrxpcopievovs opa tovs tf>iAoo6(j>ovs ; 

11 *0 8* 'Hoa/cA^s, OV7TOJ tov npofxrjdea AcAu/coj? 
ov8k tols irepl tov Xeiptova /cat "ArAarra ao(f>iaraZs 
StetAey/zeVos' aAAa yeos oj*> /cat KofuSfj Boiamos', 
avaipcov tt]i> StaAe/crt/o^ /cat /caTayeAdV ro£ ' €t 

TO TTpLOTOV TO 8e\JT€pOV * VTTOOTTCLV €.8o^€ ^StOL TOl> 

rptVoSa /cat Sta/xa^ca^at 77^09 ro> 0€or wre/D rrj? 

T€X V7 ]S> €77£t TTpo'CtOV J€ TO) \pOVCp /Cat OVTOS €OLK€ 

fxavTiKcoTCLTOS ofjiov yevecrdat /cat StaA€/CTt/cc6Taros > . ,, 

7. Ilauaa/xeVoi; Se tov ®€CDvos, JZvoTpotfiov \A#t?- 

valov otfjLai tov zIttovtcl etrat wpos 77/Aas, " opas, 

E o!>? dfjLvvet tjj StaAe/CTt/oJ Qetov 7Tpo9vfj,a)s , jjlovovov 

TTjV AeOVTTJV €TT€vhvcrapL€VOS ; OVTOJ9 1 ov8* rjfi&s TOVS 

ndvTa avAArjfiSrjv TTpdyp,arra /cat tfivcreis /cat do^d? 
Oelcov oftov /cat dvOpameitov iv dpidp,tp Tidep,€vovs , 
/cat 77oAu /xaAtara tcov kolAcov /cat tljjlicov tovtov 
r)y€fi6va Trotovfievovg /cat Kvpiov, et/c6s: 2 ^ai^tav 
dyetv dAA' dirdp^aodai tco deep Trjg <f>cAr)s jxadrj- 
\iaTiKr\s, avTO p,ev €</>' iavTov pafjTe 8vvdfM€t pbrjTe 
fiop(f>fj paJT€ tco prjp,aTi to et tcov aXXcov oroide Lcov 
8ia<f>ep€LV rjyovjjLevovSy cos 8e fieydAov rrpos tol 
oAa /cat Kvptov a^jx^Zov dpcdpuov TeTLfifjodat, ttjs 

1 ovtq)s Wyttenbach : ovrrcu. 
2 ctVo? Turnebus : ei8o>s. 



The Greek equivalent of " Philistine." 

b Cf. Moralia, 413 a, 557 c, 560 d ; Pausanias, x. 13. 4 ; 
Apollodorus, Bibliotheca, ii. 6. 2 (with Frazer's note in L.C.L. 
edition) ; Roscher, Lexikon der gr. und rom. Mythologies 

214 



THE E AT DELPHI, 387 

plainly finds pleasure in music and the songs of swans 
and the sound of lyres, what wonder is it that, because 
of his fondness for logical reasoning, he should wel- 
come and love that portion of discourse of which he 
observes philosophers making the most particular and 
the most constant use ? 

" Heracles, before he had released Prometheus or 
had conversed with the sophists that were associated 
with Cheiron and Atlas, when he was young and a 
thorough Boeotian, would do away with logical 
reasoning ; he ridiculed the ' if the first, then the 
second,' and resolved to carry off the tripod by force b 
and fight it out with the god over his art ; since, at 
any rate, as he advanced in years, he also appears to 
have become most skilled in prophecy and in logic, " 

7. When Theon ceased, Eustrophus the Athenian, 
I think it was, said to us in answer, " Do you see 
how zealously Theon defends logic, all but arraying 
himself in the lion's skin ? Under such conditions, 
we who repose in the Theory of Numbers all affairs 
together, natures and principles of things divine and 
human alike, and make this theory far above all else 
our guide and authority in all that is beautiful and 
valuable, should not be likely to hold our peace, but 
to offer to the god the first-fruits of our beloved 
mathematics, believing, as we do, that, taken by 
itself, E is not unlike the other letters either in power 
or in form or as a spoken word, but that it has come 
to be held in honour as the symbol of a great and 
sovereign number, the pempad, from which the wise 

i. p. 2213 ; Baumeister, Denkmaler des klassischen Alter- 
tumsy i. p. 463 if. The attempt of Heracles to carry off 
the tripod is represented on the treasury of the Siphnians 
in the Museum at Delphi. 

215 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

TT€pLTrdoO$ , OL<f>* OV TO apiOjielv Ol O0<f>ol 7TejJL7rd^€iV 

F civd/xa^oy." 

avra be rrpos rjfias eAeyev ov ttou^wv o hv- 
orpo<f)o$, aAA* €77€i rrjviKavra rrpoaeKeipL-qv rols 
jjLaOrjfxacnv ifATradoiS, rct^a Br) 1 fxeXXojv et? Trdvra 
TifJirjcreLv to " fJLrjSev dyav " iv 9 AKa8rj[i€ta yevo- 
litvos . 

8. I&lttov ovv KoXXiara tov EvoTpo<f)ov tu> ape- 
p/zoj Aveiv Tr)v aTropcav. evrei yap, €9771/, €1$ 

TO dpTLOV V€V€firjpL€VOV TTOiVTOS dpiOpLOV /Cat TO 
388 7T€piTTOV 7J pi€V fJLOVaS dfJL(f)OT€pa)V €7TlKOlv6s ioTL TT] 

Bvvdfiet, Sto /cat TTpooTiO^ixivrj tov fiev nepiTTOv 
dpiOjxov dpTiov 7roiet tov 8' dpTiov irepiTTOv % dp\r)v 

Se TOU fl€V dpTLOV T(X BvO TOV §€ 77€0tTTOU TCL TpiCL 

TToiovvTai, ra 8k irevre yevv&Tai tovtojv irpos dX- 
A^Aous* fieiywficvcM'i €lk6to)s ecr^/ce TL^irjv TrpcoTog 
e/c TrpcoTcov dTTOTeAov^ievos y /cat ' yd\ios ' eVawo/xaaTat 

T7? TOU dpTLOV TTpO? TO OfjAv 7T€piTTOV S' aU 77009 

to dppev ofjLOLOTrjTi' toZs yap etV taa TOfials tcov 

dpiOfJLtbv, 6 fikv dpTios rravTrj haGTajxevos \moXet7T€i 

Twd heKTiKvy dpxty ° Tlov tv tavTO) /cat xcopav, £v 

J3 Se tw rrepiTTLp to ovt6 iradovTi \xioov act rrepieOTi 

T7JS V€fXrjG€OJS yOVLfJLOV 2 ' f) yOVljX(X)T€pOS €OTt TOU 

€T€pov y /cat fA€LyvviJL€vos del KpaTZL, KpaT€LTai S' 
ouSeVoTe* ylyveTai yap ig dfufyolv /cot' ovBeptav 

1 817 Wytten bach : Se. 
2 yoi'i/iov] ixoptov Emperius. 

That is, by counting on the fingers : cf. 374 a, svpra, 
and 459 d, infra. 

b Cf. 431 a, tn/ra. c C/. 429 a, m/ro. 

d Cf Moralia, 263 f, 1012 f, 1018 c, and Clement of 
Alexandria, Stromateis, v. chap. xiv. 93. 4 (p. 702 Potter). 
216 



THE E AT DELPHI, 387-388 

gave the name • pempazein ' to counting which is 
done by fives/' a 

These words Eustrophus addressed to us not in jest, 
but for the reason that at this time I was devoting 
myself to mathematics with the greatest enthusiasm, 
although I was destined soon to pay all honour to the 
maxim * Avoid extremes,' when I had once become a 
member of the Academy. b 

8. I said, therefore, that Eustrophus solved the 
difficulty most excellently with his number. " For 
since," I continued, " every number may be classified 
as even or odd, and unity, by virtue of its potentiality, 
is common to both, for the reason that its addition 
makes the odd number even and the even number 
odd, c and since tw T o makes the first of the even num- 
bers and three the first of the odd, and five is produced 
by the union of these numbers, very naturally five has 
come to be honoured as being the first number created 
out of the first numbers ; and it has received the 
name of ' marriage ' d because of the resemblance of 
the even number to the female and of the odd number 
to the male. e For in the division of numbers into two 
equal factors, the even number separates completely 
and leaves a certain receptive opening and, as it were, 
a space within itself ; but in the odd, when it under- 
goes this process, there is always left over from the 
division a generative middle part. Wherefore it is 
more generative than the other, and in combination 
it is always dominant and is never dominated/ For 
in no combination of these two numbers (even and 
odd) is there produced from the two an even number, 

■ Cf. Moralia, 288 c-e. 

/ C/. Plutarch, Li/4 and Poetry of Homer, 145 (Bernar- 
dakis, vol. vii. p. 416). 

217 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(388) fiei^w apnos aAAd /caret rrdcras irepiTTOs. eri 8k 
jjl&AAov avros iTTifidAAoov aura) /cat arvvTiOefievos 
SeiKvvat, ttjv 8ia<f>opdv eKarepos' apnos p,ev yap 
ov8els aprico ovveAOcbv irepiTTOV Trapioyjzv ovV 
i££f}T) tov otKeiov 1 vtt* aodtvzias dyovos* cov kripov 
/cat aTeArjS' rrepirrol Se p,eiyvvp,€voi irtpiTTols 
aprlovs ttoAXovs Sta to Travrr) yovipuov aVoreAouat. 
Q tgls 8* aAAa? ovk dv tls iv Katpcp vvv irre^Loi 8vvd- 
fiets /cat 8ia<j)opds tcov apiOpoov. cos ovv dppevos 
re tov irpooTOV /cat dijAeos o/xtAta 8 Ta 7T€VT€ yiyvo- 
fxeva ydpbov oi Tlvdayopeiot, TTpooeZirov. 

" "Eart 8' fj /cat <f>voLS AeAc/crat to) irepl avTov 
77oAAa7rAaatacr/xa) 7raAti> els eavTov Trepaivcov. cos 
yap rj <j>vois Aafiovcra irvpov iv crnepp,aTi /cat ^p^aa- 
/xeV^ 4 7roAAa puev iv fiioa) (f>v€L cr^/zaTa /cat etor), 8t' 
cov cm TeAos i^dyei to epyov, cm 7racrt 8e irvpov 
dve8ei£ev arro8ovoa r^v dpxrjv iv too rcAct tov 
TTaVTOSy OVTCO TCOV Aoi7TCOV apidp,cov, oTav avTovs 
TToAAaTrAaoidaojOLV, els eTepovs TeAevTcovTCov ttj 
J) ai5^cret, p,6vos 6 tcov rrevTe /cat c£ yevofievos 
ToaavTaKis avTovs dva(f>epovot /cat dvaaoj^ovatv, 
c^a/a? yap ra c£ rpta/corracf, /cat TtevTaKis Ta 
rrevTe eiKoai7T€VT€ yiyveTai, /cat 7raAtv 6 fxev tcov 
e£ a7ra£ tovto novel /cat pbovax&s avTos a<f> y eavTov 
T€Tpdycovos ycyvopuevos' ttj Se 77e/A7raSt fi /cat tovto 
fiev ovnfSefSr)Ke /caTa, TroAAaTrAacrtacrtidy, ISioos 8e to 

1 TOU OLKCLOV F.C.B. : TO OIK^IOV. 

2 ayovos Xylander : drroyovos. 
3 ojitXia Wyttenbach : o /Ltr) hid or onoiorrjTi. 
4 xp r l aa ^ vr ) F.C.B. : xQvf 1 ** 7 } or X €a t JL * vr ) or xli 01 /^'^* 
5 -rrefindSi Bernardakis : 7T€vra8t. 

218 



THE E AT DELPHI, 388 

but in all combinations an odd. Moreover, each when 
applied to itself and made composite with itself 
shows the difference. For no even number united 
with even gives an odd number, nor does it ever show 
any departure from its own distinctive nature, being 
impotent through its weakness to produce the other 
number, and having no power of accomplishment ; 
but odd numbers combined with odd produce a 
numerous progeny of even numbers because of their 
omnipresent generative function. It would not be 
timely at this moment to enumerate the other 
potent properties and divergences of numbers ; let 
it suffice to say that the Pythagoreans called Five 
a ' Marriage ' on the ground that it was produced by 
the association of the first male number and the first 
female number. 

" There is also a sense in which it has been called 
1 Nature/ since by being multiplied into itself it ends 
in itself again. For even as Nature receives wheat in 
the form of seed and puts it to its use, and creates in 
the interim many shapes and forms through which 
she carries out the process of growth to its end, but, 
to crown all, displays wheat again, and thus presents 
as her result the beginning at the end of the whole, 
so in like manner, while the other numbers when 
raised to a power end in different numbers as the 
result of the increase, only the numbers five and six, 
when multiplied by themselves, repeat themselves 
and preserve their identity. Thus six times six is 
thirty-six, and five times five is twenty-five ; and 
furthermore, the number six does this but once, and 
the single instance is when it is squared ; but with 
five this result is obtained in raising it to any power, 
and it has a unique characteristic, when added to 

219 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(388) Kara ovvdeow rj eavrrjv 1 rj rrjv 2 Se/caSa noielv irapa 
fxepos imfidAAovaav* eavrfj, Kal rovro yiyveodai 

fJL€XP*> TTCLVTOS, aTtopnp.OVp.ivOV TOV dpiOfJLOV TTJV TO. 

oXa StaKOGpuovGav dpx^v. ws yap €K€ivrjv dXXdr- 
rovGav 4, e/c pcev iavrrjs rov KOGp,ov Ik 8e rov Koapuov 

E ttolAlv av eavrrjv aTroreXelv * irvpos r dvrapLeifie- 
G0at s TTdvra,' ^gIv 6 'HpaKXetros, ' Kal irvp 
aTTavrojv, oKO)OTT€p* xP vo °v XP 7 ll~ iaTa KaL XP r )l JL( *'' ra>1 ' 
Xpvaos,' ovtojs rj rrjs 7T€p.7rd8os 7 77/309 iavrrjv 
gvvooos ovoev ovr* dreXks ovr dXXorpiov yevvav 
7T€(f)VKev, aAA' wpiopuivas e^et puerafioXas' r) ydp 
avrrjv r) rrjv otKcioa yevva, tovtIgtiv rj to oiKelov r) 
ro reXetov. 

9. " 'Eay ovv eprjrai ris, tl ravra irpos rov 
'AiroXXojva, <f>r)GopL€v ovxl piovov dXXd Kal irpos 
rov Aiovvgov, al rcjv AeX(f)UJv ovSev rjrrov r) rto 
* AttoXXojvl puereGTW. aKovopuev ovv rcov BeoXoyojv 

F Ta picv iv TTOLr)pLaGi rd S' dvev puerpov Xeyovrojv 
Kal vpivovvrajv ojs a<f)6apTos 6 deos Kal ai'8109 
7T€<f)VKOJS, V7TO 8ij twos etpLappLevrjs yvajpLrjs Kal 
Xoyov pLerafioXats eavrov x/ooj/xevos 1 aAAore p,ev els 
rrvp dvrjipe rrjv (f)VGiv 8 navd opiOiojGas iraGuv, dXXore 
8e 7Tavro8a7rds ev re /xo petals Kal ev TrdOeGi Kal 
bvvdp,€GL 8ta(f>6pois yiyvopievos , oj? ytyverat vvv 

1 77 iavrrjv Stegmann : Kad* iavrrjv. 

2 rr)v added by Bernardakis. 

3 i-mpdXAovoav Emperius (imfiaXXovor) Madvig) : eVi/SaA- 
Aovorjs. 

4 aXXdrTovaav F.C.B. (jrAdrrovoav Bernays) : <f>vAdrrovaav. 

5 aiTafjLeificoOai Wyttenbach : avra/ieijSeTai or avrafiOLp-qrai 
(dvTafjLOLprjv rd Bernardakis and Schwartz, avrajioi^ra Paton). 

6 oKcuoTTcp Bernardakis : (cV) aiairep. 
220 



THE E AT DELPHI, 388 

itself, of producing either itself or ten alternately a 
as the addition progresses, and of doing this to infinity, 
since this number takes its pattern from the primal 
principle which orders the whole. For as that prin- 
ciple by changes creates a complete universe out of 
itself, and then in turn out of the universe creates 
itself again, as Heracleitus b says, ' and exchanges 
fire for all and all for fire, as gold for goods and goods 
for gold,' so, in like manner, the conjunction of five 
with itself is determined by Nature's law to produce 
nothing incomplete or foreign, but it has strictly 
limited changes ; it produces either itself or ten, that 
is to say, either its own characteristic or the perfect 
whole. 

9- " If, then, anyone ask, * What has this to do with 
Apollo ? ', we shall say that it concerns not only him, 
but also Dionysus, whose share in Delphi is no less 
than that of Apollo. c Now we hear the theologians 
affirming and reciting, sometimes in verse and some- 
times in prose, that the god is deathless and eternal 
in his nature/* but, owing forsooth to some predestined 
design and reason, he undergoes transformations of 
his person, and at one time enkindles his nature 
into fire and makes it altogether like all else, and 
at another time he undergoes all sorts of changes 
in his form, his emotions and his powers, even as the 

a That is, a number ending in 5 or 0. Cf. 429 d, infra. 

b Diels, Frag, der Vorsokratiker y i. p. 95, Heracleitus, 
no. b 90. 

c Cf. 365 a, supra, and Lucan, v. 73-74 ; and for the pro- 
verb cf. Moralia, 280 d and the note. 

d Cf. Clement of Alexandria, Stromal eh ^ v. 14 (p. 711 
Potter). 

7 7T€fnrdho£ Hernardakis : -nevraSos. 
8 rriv <f>voLv Keiske : t?; </>iWi. 

221 



PLUTARCH'S MORAL! A 

o 1 /cocr/xos', ovofid^erai Se rep yvcopLfiajraTcp rtbv 
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" *A.yrjpu)v re rovrov del /cat yeov eKeZvov Se 7toXv- 
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1 <J added by F.C.B. 

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3 €?ra 8* Stegmann : ot ray. 

* avapiwoeis Amyot from 364 f : a7rofiia>o€is. 

5 ovyKcofiov Wyttenbach : cruyKowov^ avyKOvov, or cruyyovou. 

6 ofiaXorrjra Hubert, comp. 52 a : ofioiorqra. 

222 



THE E AT DELPHI, 388-389 

universe does to-day ; but he is called by the best 
known of his names. The more enlightened, how- 
ever, concealing from the masses the transformation 
into fire, call him Apollo because of his solitary state, 6 
and Phoebus because of his purity and stainlessness. c 
And as for his turning into winds and water, earth 
and stars, and into the generations of plants and 
animals, and his adoption of such guises, they speak 
in a deceptive way of what he undergoes in his 
transformation as a tearing apart, as it were, and 
a dismemberment. They give him the names of 
Dionysus, Zagreus, Nyctelius, and Isodaetes ; they 
construct destructions and disappearances, followed 
by returns to life and regenerations — riddles and 
fabulous tales quite in keeping with the aforesaid 
transformations. To this god they also sing the 
dithyrambic strains laden with emotion and with a 
transformation that includes a certain wandering and 
dispersion. Aeschylus/ in fact, says 

Fitting it is that the dithyramb 
With its fitful notes should attend 
Dionysus in revel rout. 

But to Apollo they sing the paean, music regulated 
and chaste. 

" Apollo the artists represent in paintings and sculp- 
ture as ever ageless and young, but Dionysus they 
depict in many guises and forms ; and they attribute 
to Apollo in general a uniformity, orderliness, and 
unadulterated seriousness, but to Dionysus a certain 

° Cf. Stobaeus, Eclogae Phys. et Ethic, i. 21. 5 (i. p. 184. 
11 ed. Wachsmuth). 

b Cf. 354 b, 381 p, supra, and 393 b, infra. 

e Cf. 393 c, infra. 

d Nauck, Trag. Qraec. Frag., Aeschylus, no. 355. 

223 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(389) Ttva 7ratSta /cat vfipei /cat anovSij /cat puavla npoa* 
<f>€povT€$ dvtopbaXiav , 

' eviov opoiyvvaLKa 1 
p,aivop,evais kiovvoov 
dvOeovTa rt/xats 1 ' 

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oiKelov XapbfSdvovTes . 

C tl 'E7T6t 8' 01) K LGOS 6 TCOV TTepiohcOV €V TCLIS fltTd' 

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TO KCLTO, X6yOV T7)pOVVT€S €VTOLvda TOV /X€l> dXXoV 

iviavTOv itaidvi xp&vTai Trepl tols Ova lag, dpxopevov 
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Traidva KaTaTravaavTes , Tpels fxrjvas dvT eKeivov 

TOVTOV KaTOLKaXoVVTOLl TOV 6eOV , O7T€0 T/Ota TTpOS 

evvea 2 tovto ttjv Sta/coa/x^crty olofievoi xP OVi V irpos 

TTJV ZKTTVpCDaiV €LVCLl. 

JO. " 'AAAa Taura ptev Ikovov Kaipov pudXXov 
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D aufli? he ttjv Se/caSa Troiovaav e£ eavTrjs cos tov 
Koapuov. ttjs he hrj /xaAtora /ce^apta/xeV^s" rep deep 
liovaiKrjs ovk otd/xe#a tovtco to> dpiOpiip ueretvat; 
to yap TrXelaTov cos evi* elirelv epyov dpp,oviKr)s 
Trepl ras" avpL(f>covias eaTiv. aurat o ort rrevTe /cat ov 
irXeiovs 6 Xoyos i^eXeyx^ tov ev ^opSat? /cat Tpv- 

1 eviov opovyvvaiKa Reiske : ivivopei yvvaiKa and other 
variants in the other quotations. 

2 eWa Bases and Strijd : cv or h ovoa. 

3 avraj Meziriacus : avrov ol. 

4 7T€/Li7TdSa Bernardakis: -nevrdha. 
224 



THE E AT DELPHI, 389 

variability combined with playfulness, wantonness, 
seriousness, and frenzy. They call upon him ° : 

Euoe Bacchus who incites 
Womankind, Dionysus who delights 
'Mid his honours fraught with frenzy, 

not inappositely apprehending the peculiar character 
of each transformation. 

" But since the time of the cycles in these trans- 
formations is not equal, but that of the one which they 
call ' Satiety,* b is longer, and that of ' Dearth ' shorter, 
they observe the ratio, and use the paean at their 
sacrifices for a large part of the year ; but at the 
beginning of winter they awake the dithyramb and, 
laying to rest the paean, they use the dithyramb 
instead of it in their invocations of the god ; for they 
believe that, as three is to one, so is the relation of the 
creation to the conflagration. 

10. M But these remarks have been extended some- 
what beyond what the occasion requires. However, 
it is clear that men make Five an attribute of the god, 
which at one time of itself creates itself, like fire, and 
at another time out of itself creates ten, like the 
universe. And in music, which is especially pleasing 
to him, do we imagine that this number plays no 
part ? For the main application of harmony, so far as 
it can be put into words, is concerned with chords. 
That these are five, and no more, reason convinces 
anyone who wishes, by perception alone without 

° C/. Bergk, Poet. Lyr. Graec. iii. p. 730, Adespota, no. 
131 ; quoted by Plutarch in Moralia, 607 c and 671 c also. 

6 Of. von Arnim, Stoicorum Veterum Fragmenta, ii. 616 (p. 
186) ; Philo, De Spec. Leg. i. 208. 

5 avrrjv] avrfj in most mss. 
8 €vi] tiros Camerarius. 

225 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(389) TTTjixaai ravra drjpav aAoyco? rf\ alcrdtfoet, fiovXo- 
\xevov. iraoai yap €v Xoyois rrjv yevecrw dptOfxcov 
Aafifidvovaw /cat Xoyos earl rfjs /x€i> Std rerrdpcov 
zirlrpiTos, rrjs 8e Std tt€vt€ tjijuoAios, StTrAdaLOs Se 
rrjs Std uaaGiVy rrjs Se Std rraotov /cat Std rrevre 
rpirrXdcnos, rrjs Se Sts* Std rraochv rerparrXdaios. fjv 
E Se Tavrat? Irreiadyopoiv oi dpjxoviKol Std rraacjv 
/cat Std rerrdpojv ovofid^ovres e£a> pbirpov jSatVou- 
aav ovk d£toV ion Se^ecr^at rrjs aKorjs rep dXoyop 
rrapa rov Xoyov coanep vopcov xapi^op^ivovs . Iva 
roivvv d(f>a) rrevre rerpa^ophoov deareis, /cat rrevre 

TOVS TTpCOTOVS, €LT€ TOVOVS Tj rpOTTOVS et'0' dpfJLOVLaS 

Xprj KaXelv, cov 1 Imrdoei /cat v(f>€0€i rpeTropievoov 
Kara ro p,aXXov /cat rjrrov at Xoittoi ftapvrrjris etat 
/cat 6t;vT7\T€s, dp* ou^t 77oAAan>, piaXXov S' aireipajv, 
oiaarrrjfjidrcov ovtcdv ra p,€Xcooovp,eva puova rrivr 
F iari, 8Uais /cat r)puroviov /cat rovos /cat rpir\p,i- 
rovtov /cat oirovov, dXXo 8' OV0€V OVT€ pnKpor€pov 
ovre puell^ov iv (f>a>vais ywp'iov o^vrryri /cat fiapxnrpri 

TT€paTOVpL€VOV pL€Xcp$7]TOV loTi; 

11. " rioAAd S' dAAa Toiavra," €<f>rjv iyoo, M rrap- 
eXdcov rov TiXdrojva rrpood^o[iai Xeyovra koo\lov 

€Va, OJS €L7T€p €LOL TTapd TOVTOV €T€pOL /Cat fir) JJLOVOS 

ovros ef?, a 77eVre rovs rrdvras ovras KaL pirj rrXeiovas* 
ov fxrjv dXXa /cdV els ovros 77 pLovoyevrjs, cos oterat 
/cat ' AptaroriXrjs , rporrov rwd /cat rovrov e'/c rrivre 

1 wv Wyttenbach : <hs. 2 efe Wyttenbach : els. 

a Cf. Plato, Republic, 530 d-531 c. 

6 Cf. Moralia, 1018 e. c Cf. 429 e, infra. 

d Cf 430 a, infra, and Moralia, 1021 e and 1029 a. 
e Cf. 430 a, infra. * Plato, Timaeus, 31 a. 

226 



THE E AT DELPHI. 389 

employing reason, to pursue these matteis on the 
strings and stops a ; for they all have their origin in 
numerical ratios. The ratio of the fourth is four to 
three, 5 that of the fifth is three to two, and that 
of the octave two to one ; that of the octave plus the 
fifth is three to one, c and that of the double octave 
four to one. The extra chord which the writers on 
harmony introduce, naming it the octave and the 
fourth extra metrum, does not deserve acceptance, 
since we should be favouring the unreasoning element 
in our sense of hearing contrary to reason, which is as 
much as to say, contrary to law. Now if I may omit 
any discussion of the five stops of the tetrachord, d 
and the first five ' tones ' or ' tropes ' or ' harmonies/ 
whatever be their right name, from the changes in 
which, through a greater or a less tension, the re- 
maining lower and higher notes are derived, I must 
ask whether, although the intervals are numerous, or 
rather of infinite number, yet the elements of melody 
are not five only,* quarter tone, half tone, tone, a tone 
plus a halftone, and double tone ; and there is, in the 
range of notes, no additional space, either smaller or 
greater within the limits set by the high and the low, 
which can yield melody. 

11. " There are many other examples of this sort 
of thing," said I, " which I shall pass over. I shall 
merely adduce Plato/ who, in speaking about a single 
world, says that if there are others besides ours, and 
ours is not the only one, then there are five altogether 
and no more.^ Nevertheless, even if this world of ours 
is the only one ever created, as Aristotle h also thinks, 
even ours, he says, is in a way put together through 

» Cf. Moralia, 421 r, 422 r, 430 b, and 887 b. 
* De Caelo, i. 8-9 (276 a 18). 

227 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

390 avyK€i[jL€vov Koayoxjv /cat ovvrippioopivov elvai* cov 
6 pitv €(7tl yijs 6 8' v8oltos, rpiros 8e nvpos /cat 
rerapros depos 1 ' rov 8$ TtepurTov ovpavov* ol Se <f>a>s 
ol 8' aldipa koXovow, ol 8* avro tovto TrepLTTTrjv 
ovaiav, fj to kvkXo) TrepifyepeoQai pLovr) ra>v oa>- 
pdnov /card <j>voiv eariv, ovk ef dvdyKT)s ovr* 
clXXojs ovpLpefirjKos* Std S17 /cat ra nevre /cat /caA- 
Atcrra /cat reXecorara oyy]para rtov €v 777 <f>voei 
Karavorjoas, Trvpap,L8a /cat Kvfiov /cat oKrdeSpov /cat 
eiKoadehpov /cat SajSe/caeSpoy, e/caaro^ oiKelcus 
e/caara> Trpooeveipiev. 
B 12. " Etcrt 8' ot /cat ras" to)i> alo6r]0€CQv 8vvdp.eis 
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/cat </>arrt Std auyyeVetav 8iaXapLTrovo7)s ttjs ox/jeats 
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€OLK€, StaVOpLTJ y£yOV€ TOiV TTivT€ TTpoS TOL 7T€VT€ KOlI 

C ovXXrj^ts." 

13. "A/xa Se' ttojs eTTLOTTjoas /cat StaAtTraV, 

otov," etrrov, " a> Euarpo^e, 7T€7r6vda}X€v, oXlyov 

irapeXBovTes tov "OpLrjpov, ojs ou^t TrpcjTov els 

1 rpiros 8c Kat rerapros nvpos kolI ddpos Paton on slight MS. 
authority. 

2 ovpavov] ol /Ltev ovpavov Wyttenbach. 

3 ov^€^rjKos Meziriacus : o-u/i/k/fy kotos. 

4 ev ] T ?7 ? 
228 



THE E AT DELPHI, 390 

the union of five worlds, of which one is of earth, 
another of water, a third of fire, a fourth of air ; and 
the fifth, the heavens, others call light, and others 
aether, and others call this very thing a fifth substance 
(Quintessence), which alone of the bodies has by 
nature a circular motion that is not the result of any 
compelling power or any other incidental cause. 
Wherefore also Plato, apparently noting the five 
most beautiful and complete forms among those found 
in Nature, pyramid, cube, octahedron, icosahedron, 
and dodecahedron, appropriately assigned each to 
each. 

12. " There are some who associate the senses also, 
since they are of the same number, with those primal 
elements, observing that touch functions against 
something resistant, and is earthly, and that taste, 
through moisture in the things tasted, absorbs their 
qualities. Air, when it is struck, becomes voice or 
sound in the hearing of it. Of the two remaining 
senses, odour, which the sense of smell has received 
as its portion, since it is an exhalation and is en- 
gendered by heat, bears a resemblance to fire ; and 
in sight, which flashes to its goal owing to its kinship 
with aether and light, there occurs a combination and 
coalescence of the two, which behaves as they do. The 
living being possesses no other sense, nor has the 
world any other nature single and uncombined ; but 
a marvellous distribution and apportionment each to 
each has, as it seems, been made of the five to the 
five." 

13. Therewith I checked myself and, after waiting 
a moment, said, " What ails us, Eustrophus, that we 
all but passed over Homer a as if he were not the first 

//. xv. 187. 

229 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(390) 7T€VT€ vetfjuavra fiepiSas rov koujxov, os ras" /xeV iv 
fieoco Tpets a7roSe'Sa>/ce toi? rpicrl 6eols, Svo Se ras 
aKpa$ oXvjjlttov Kai yrjv, (Lv rj fiev iari Ttov koltco 
irepas 6 Se Ttov dvoj, kolvols Kai avepLrJTOvs d<f>f}K€v. 
' 'AAA* avoiareos ' 6 ' Xoyos,' tog EvpnTiS-qs 
tfrrjolv. oi yap ttjv rerpdSa crepivvvavTes 1 ov tf>avXojs 
ScSdcrKovcrw, ort, tw ravrrjs Xoyto irav Utopia yeveaiv 
€GX 7 ] K€V * eVec ydp iv fjLTjK€L Kai 7rAaret fidOos 
D Xafiovri irav to arepeov iart, Kai firjKovs p-ev irpo- 
v(f)ioraraL OTiyp,r) Kara piovdoa rarrofjievr] , jjltjkos S* 
aTrXares r) ypafifirj KaXelrai Kai Sua? 2 iartv, rj S' 
€7U irXaros ypapLpL-fjs Kivrjots em^a^eia? yiveow iv 
rpiahi 7rap€ox€, fiddovs Se tovtols npoayevopbivov 
Sai T€rrdpa>v €ts are pedis r) avijrjats rrpofiaivei, 
rravrl StJAo^ otl p<ixP L Seupo ttjv <f>vat,v r) rerpas 
irpoayayovaa, p<ixP l T °v a &>l Jia TtXeitoaat, Kai irapa- 
axew oltttov* oyKov koX dvTiTvnov, efr* aTroXeXoLffev 
E eVSea rov jxeyiorov. to yap aipvxov a>? olttXcos 
€17T€lv op(f>avov Kai dreXes Kai Trpos ovo* otlovv, 
fir) xP CJ l x ^ vr l^ fox*)?* iiriTrjSeiov rj Se Trjv ipvx^jv 
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yLyvofxevrj, rfj <f>vaa to re'Aeioy diroSiSajat, Kai 
ToaovTco KvpicjTepov e^ei ttjs TerpaSos" Xoyov, oatp 

TlfJbfj OLa(f>4p€L TOV ai/fl^OU TO t,tpOV . 

" "Etc 8* laxvaaoa fiaXXov r) Ttov nivTe avfifieTpia 

Kai ovvapus ovk eiaaev els aTreipa yivrj rrpoeXOelv to 

epufjvxov, dXXd 7reVre Ttov ^ojvtojv dndvTtov loias 

1 oefjivvvavTcs] cr€fivvvovT€S Wyttenbach. 
2 hvds Reiske: ijltjkos. 
3 dvTov Reiske : Sittov. 

a Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag., Euripides, no. 970 ; re- 
peated in 431 a, infra. 
280 



THE E AT DELPHI, 390 

to divide the world into five parts ? For he duly 
assigned the three in the middle to the three gods, 
and the two extremes, the heaven and the earth, of 
which the one is the boundary of things below and 
the other of things above, he left to all in common, 
undistributed. 

But the discussion must be carried further back,' 
as Euripides ° remarks. For those who exalt Four 
teach us a lesson that is not without value, that by 
reason of this number all solids have come into being. 
For since every such solid body exists through the 
acquisition of depth by length and breadth, and for 
length must be presupposed a single point assigned 
to unity, and length without breadth, which is called 
a line, is also duality, and the movement of the line 
breadthwise generates a plane in the third instance, 
and when depth is added, through the four factors the 
increase progresses to a solid — it is clear to everyone 
that four, when it has carried Nature forward to the 
point of completing a solid body and producing a 
volume that may be felt and that is resistant, has 
then left Nature lacking in the most important thing 
of all. For the inanimate thing is, to put it simply, 
orphaned, incomplete, and good for nothing, unless 
there be an animating soul to make use of it. The 
impulse or dispensation that creates the soul therein, 
a transformation brought about through five factors 
in all, gives to Nature its due completeness, and is 
as much more potent than four as the living being 
differs in worth from the inanimate thing. 

" Moreover, the symmetry and power of five, 
rather than that of any other number, has prevailed 
and has not permitted the animate to progress to 
unlimited classes of beings, but has produced five forms 

231 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

7rap€(ix €V * € "™ y&P ® €01 89J7TOU Kal 8alp,ov€s Kal 
ripoyes /cat, /xera tovtovs to reraprov dvOpojirot 
ytvoSy €<JX arov 8e /cat iripLTTTov to aXoyov Kal 
F OrjpitbSes. 

r/ri o €6 tt)^ yvxV 1 ' <^ VTr ) v Kara <pvow oiaipois, 

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hevrepov 8k to alofiryriKov , cira to €7n0vpL7)TUc6v 9 
etr* errl tovtcp to dvpLoetbes' cis Se rrjv tov Xoyc- 
otlkov 8vvap,iv i^LKopivT] Kal TeXecvoaaa rr/v (j>voiv 
woTrep iv a/cpoj Tip TT€pL77Tco /caraTreVaurat. 

14. " Toaauras 8k /cat TrjXiKavTas Ixovtos tou 
dpidpiov 8vvdpi€LS, KaXrj Kal rj yeveols £otw, ov\ 
r)v rj8rj 8tr)X6opL€v, £k 8vd8os ovoav 1 Kal 7*010:809, 
aAA' rjv rj dpxrf tw rrpcoTcp vvveXOovoa TCTpaywvcp 

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T€Tpdya>vos Se rrpaiTOS r) TtTpds' £k 8k tovtcov, 
woTrep 18 dag Kal vXrjs irepas ixovarjs, r) tt€ punas. 
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rtdevrai, 8vvapav ovoav iavrrjs Kal rrepalvovaav 

€LS iaVTTjV, €K hvOLV 7T€(f)VKvla TO)V Trp(x)TU)V T€Tpa- 

yojvoyv rj irepLTrds ovk drroXcXotTrev v7T€pf$oXr)v ev- 
yevelas. 

15. " To 8k pLeytOTov," €</>r)V, " SeSta pur) prjOkv 
TTie^Tj tov HXaTOJva rjpwv, <I)S £k€lvos eXeye itufe- 
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86£av avTOV 18 lav rroiovptvov. rj yap ov ravr 

B €tprjK€v £v KpaTvXa);" 

IldVi; piev ovv," 6 Eucrrpo^o? €<f>rj, " tI 8' 

OpLOlOV 7T€(f>VK€V OV OVVOpO).'' 

1 otioav] ovaa in most mss. 
2 V *PX*l] *PXy m a ^ MSS « b u * one. 
232 



THE E AT DELPHI, 390-391 

of all living things. For there are, as we know, gods, 
demigods, and heroes, and after these the fourth 
class, man a ; and fifth and last the class of unreason- 
ing animals. 

" If you should, moreover, make divisions of the soul 
itself to accord with Nature, the first and least clear 
part of it is the nutritive, second the perceptive, then 
the appetitive, and, next after this, the spirited ; but 
when it had reached the power to reason, and had 
completed its nature, it came to rest there at the 
fifth element as at the highest point. b 

14. "Of this number, which has so many and such 
great powers, the origin also is fair and lovely ; not 
that which we have expounded, that it is composed 
of two and three, but that which the beginning 
combined with the first square produces. For the 
beginning of all number is one, and the first square 
is four c ; and from these, as though from perfected 
form and matter, comes five. And if certain authori- 
ties are right, who, as we know, posit one as the first 
square, since it is a power of itself and its product is 
itself, then five, the offspring of the first two squares, 
does not lack a surpassing nobility of lineage. 

15. " But," said I, " the most important matter I 
fear may embarrass our Plato when it is stated, just 
as he said that Anaxagoras was embarrassed by the 
name of the Moon, since he tried to claim as his own 
some very ancient opinion in regard to its illumina- 
tion. Has not Plato said this in the Cralylus ? " d 

" Certainly," said Eustrophus, " but what similarity 
there is I do not see." 

Cf. 415 o, infra, 

6 Cf. 429 E, infra. ' c Cf. 429 f., infra. 

* Plato, Cratylus, 409 a. 

233 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(391) " Kal fJirjv otaOa SrjTrovOev, otl tt€vt€ jiev h> 
Ho<f>Lcrrfj ra$ KVpicordrag aTToSetKWcriv ap^ds, to 

OV TO TOLVTOV TO €T€pOV, TtTdpTOV 8k Kal TTepLTTTOV 
€7rl TOVTOLS KLVrjOLV KCU OTOLOIV. dXXcp 8* (XV T0O7TOJ 

8icup€cr€0t)s £v OcXrjpa) ^pa>/x€^'os , , ev fiev elvai <f)7)oi 

TO a7T€CpOV €T€pOV 8c TO 1 7T€pCLS' TOVTOJV 8e p,€iyW- 

p,4va>v rraaav avviaTaodai yiveoiv. air lav 8\ v<f>' 
fjs jjL€cyvvrac, reraprov yevos riOerai* Kal tt€jx7TTov 
C rjfjuv vttovozTv aTToXeXoLTTev, to rd p,€.iyQivra ttoXiv 
tax^t 8iaKpioiv Kal 8idaraoiv. T€Kp,atpop,ai 8e 
ravr* €K€iva)v coorrep ziKovas Xiytodai, rod fi€v 
ovros to ycyvofievov, Ktvrjoeajs 8e to aTreipov, to 
8e irepas tt]s OTaa€a)s y Tavrov 8e rrjv /A€iyvvovoav 
apxty, daTepov 8e tjjv 8iaKpivovoav . €i 8' crcpa 
TavT earl, KaKelvoJS aV ttr) Kal ovtojs iv TtevTe 
yiveoi 2 Kal 8ia<f>opals Tidepbevos? 

11 "ILcfcdrf 8rj tls ravTa rrpoTepos ovvt8cbv HXaTOJVOS, 
8lo 6 €t Kadiepwae ra> deep, S^Aco/xa Kal ovpbfSoXov 
tov dpiOfjiov raw TrdvTOJV. 

" 'AAAd jjltjv Kal TayaOdv iv tt€vt€ yivzoi <f>avTa- 
D £6fJL€VOV KaTaVOTJOaS, SiV TTpCJTOV Ioti to fierpiov, 

8evT€pov 8k to avfifieTpov, Kal Tpirov 6 vovs Kal 
TeTapTOV at 7T€pl $vxt)v €7TiOTf)p,ai Kal Tiyyai, Kal 
Sd£ai dXrjdeis, 7T€[X7ttov S' 6 el tls rj8ovfj Kadapa 

1 to omitted in all mss. but one. 

2 y4v€oi\ y€veo€(ji in most MSS. 

3 Ti0€fi€vo<; Wilamowitz-Mollendorff : irv66fi€vos, 

4 €<f>6rj F.C.B. : <f>r)ol or <f>r}o€i. 

5 816 F.C.B. : Svo. 
8 8* added by Bernardakis. 

234 



THE E AT DELPHI, 391 

" Well, you know, of course, that in the Sophist a 
he demonstrates that the supreme first principles are 
five : Being, Identity, Divergence, and fourth and 
fifth besides these, Motion and Rest. 5 But in the 
Philebus c he employs another method of division 
and affirms that the Infinite is one and the Definite 
a second, and from the combination of these all 
generation arises. The cause which makes them 
combine he posits as a fourth class ; the fifth he has 
left for us to surmise, by which the things combined 
attain once more dissociation and disengagement. 
I infer that these are intended to be figurative ex- 
pressions corresponding to those just mentioned, 
generation corresponding to being, the infinite to 
motion, the definite to rest, the combining principle 
to identity, and the dissociating principle to diver- 
gence. But if these last are not the same as the 
others, even so, considered either in that way or in 
this, his division into five different classes would still 
hold good. 

11 Evidently someone anticipated Plato in compre- 
hending this before he did, and for that reason 
dedicated to the god an E as a demonstration and 
symbol of the number of all the elements. 

" Furthermore, observing that the Good displays 
itself under five categories, d of which the first is 
moderation, the second due proportion, the third the 
mind, the fourth the sciences and arts and the true 
opinions that have to do with the soul, and the fifth 
any pleasure that is pure and unalloyed with pain, at 

a Plato, Sophist, 256 c. 

6 C/. 428 c, infra. 
e Plato, Philebus, 23 c. 

* Cf. ibid. 66 a-c. 

235 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(391) Kal TTpos to Xvttovv aKparos, ivravda Xrjyti to 
'Op<f>iKov vrrenrcov 

€KT7j S' iv yeverj KaTarravoaTe Oeojjidv 1 doiSrjs. 

16. EjTTL TOVTOIS, €(f)rjV, €Lprjll€VOl$ TTpOS 

vjjl&s * ev fipaxv * toIs irepl NiKavSpov * deioraj 

£vV€T0lOl' Tfj yap €KT7) 2 TOV V€OV fJLrjVOS OTdV 

KaTayrj rts 3 tt\v Wvdlav els to a TTpVTaveZov y 6 
nptoTos vpuv ycyveTCLi tG)v Tpicov KXijpcjv els to, 

7T€VT€, TTpOS dXXrjXoVS €KeiVTjS T€L TplCL, GOV Se 5 TOL 

Svo fidXXovTos* rj yap ovx ovtojs e^et; " 
E Kat 6 NtKav8pos, " ovtojs," etrrev, 77 S* a ma 
irpos eTepovs dpprjTOS eoTL." 

Ovkovv," €<f>rjv iyaj fjLetSidoag, " a^/oi ov 
TaXrjOes r)p,Zv 6 Beds lepois yevop,evois yv&vai 
7rapdoxV> 7rpocrK€icr€Tai Kal TOVTO toZs vnep TTjS 
TrtjJLTrdoos Xeyofievois ." 

ToLOVTO [A€V Kai 6 TO)V aplOpTjTLKOJV Kal 6 TO)V 

liadr)fjbaTiKa>v eyKcofiiajv tov el Xoyos, <Ls eyd) 
fidjjLvrjfAai, rrepas hox ev * 

17. '0 S* 'ApL/JLcbvLos, aT€ 8rj Kal avTos ov to 
(f>avXoTaTOV ev fJLadrjfjLaTiKrj <J)tXooo(f)Las 7 TiOefievos, 
rjoOrj re toZs Xeyopuevocs Kal tlireVy " ovk d£iov 
iTpos raura Aiav aKptfitos dvTiXeyeiv tois veois, 
ttXtjv otl t&v dpidfi&v eKaoTos ovk oXiya fiov- 

F Xofievois erraiveZv Kal vpuveZv Trape^ei. Kal tL Set 
Trepl to)v aXXoJv Xeyetv; r) yap Upd tov 'AttoX- 

1 flecr/xov Badham ; olfiov Kroll : Ovfxov (koo^lov Plato). 

2 ttj yao €Krr) Bernardakis : rrjs yap eVrijs. 

' 3 tls F.C.B. ; ds. 

4 to Wyttenbach : ti. 

5 oov 8c Paton : ouSe. 

236 



THE E AT DELPHI, 391 

this point he leaves off, thus suggesting the Orphic 
verse a 

Bring to an end the current of song in the sixth generation. 

16. " Following upon all this that has been said to 
you/' I continued, " ' I shall sing one short verse ' b 
for Nicander and his friends, ' men of sagacity.* On 
the sixth day of the new month, namely, when the 
prophetic priestess is conducted down to the Pryta- 
neum, the first of your three sortitions is for five, she 
casting three and you casting two, each with reference 
to the other. 6 Is not this actually so ? " 

" Yes," said Nicander, " but the reason must not 
be told to others." 

" Then," said I, smiling, " until such time as we 
become holy men, and God grants us to know the 
truth, this also shall be added to what may be said on 
behalf of the Five." 

Thus, as I remember, the tale of arithmetical and 
of mathematical laudations of E came to an end. 

17. Ammonius, inasmuch as he plainly held that in 
mathematics was contained not tne least important 
part of philosophy, was pleased with these remarks, 
and said, " It is not worth while to argue too precisely 
over these matters with the young, except to say that 
every one of the numbers will provide not a little for 
them that wish to sing its praises. What need to 
speak of the others ? Why, the sacred Seven of 

a Orphic Fragments, no. 14. 

b Ibid, no. 334 ; quoted again bv Plutarch in Moralia, 
636 n. 

c The Greek text is at this point somewhat uncertain. 



6 /SoAWto? Bernard ak is : /JaAAovres. 

7 </>i\oacxf>Las] <l>i\o<jo<f>ia in most mss. 

237 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

Xojvos cjSSojLta? dVaAojcm tt) v rjfxepav Ttporepov r\ 
Xoycp ras Swdpueis avrrjs dndoas eTre^eXdetv. 
etra rep kowco popup ' noXepiovvTas ' apua /cat 

' TO) 7ToXX(p XpOVLO * TOVS 00(f)OVS a7TO(f)aVOVpL€P 

avhpas, el ttjp e/?SottaSa rfj$ rrpoeSptas nap- 
ojoavTes rtp deep ttjv 77ejLL7raSa KaQiepojoovoiv ojs 

pL&XXoV Tt 7TpOG7]KOVaaV. OVT OVV dpiOpiOV OVT€ 
Td£lV OVT€ GVvhtOpLOV OVT* dXXo TO)V eXXlTTUJV 

392 pLopicjv ovSev olpcai to ypdp,p,a of]p,aLvew aAA 
eoTiv avroreXrjs rod Oeov TTpooayopevois /cat irpoo- 
<f>ojV7jois, a/xa rep prjpLari tov <j>deyyop,evov els 
evvoiav Kadvordoa ttjs rov Oeov 8vvdp,etDS. d p,ev 
yap Oeos etcaoTov rjpLQjv evravOa irpooiovra olov 
do7Ta£6p,€vos TTpoaayopevec to ' yvojOt, oavTov,' 
o 8rj tov € X a ^P e ' ovSev p,elov iomv rjpLels Se rrdXiv 
dpLeifSopuevoL top Oeov, ' el,' (jyapiev, ojs aXrjOrj /cat 
dipevSrj /cat piovyv piovcp Trpoo-qKovoav ttjv tov elvac 
Tcpooayopevoiv a-rroStScWe?. 

18. " 'H/xty piev yap ovtojs tov elvai peTeoTiv 
ovSev, dXXd iraoa Ovtyry] <f>vacs ev pbeaoj yeveoecos 
/cat <f>6opas yevopbevq <f>dop,a irape^ei /cat Soktjctiv 
B dpLvhpav /cat dflefiaiov avTtjs' av he tt)v oidvoiav 
eirepeiorjs Aaj8e'cr0at fiovXopievos , tooirep rj a<£o8/>a 
7T€pc§pa£is vSaTOs t<x> mel^etv /cat els rauro crvv- 
dyeiv Siappeov aVdAAuc/t to TrepiXapifiav6pi,evov , ovtoj 

a C/. Bergk, Poet, Lyr. Graec. i. p. 522, Simonides, no. 
193, and Edmonds in Lyra Graeca, ii. p. 340, in L.C.L. ; 
Plutarch refers to this also in 359 f, supra, and in his Life oj 
Theseus, chap. x. (p. 4 f). 

238 



THE E AT DELPHI, 391-392 

Apollo will consume the whole day before the 
narration of all its powers is finished. Then again, we 
shall be branding the wise men as ' warring with ' 
common custom, as well as with ' the long years of 
time,' a if they are to oust Seven from its place of 
honour and make Five sacred to the god, on the ground 
that it is in some way more closely related to him. I 
am therefore of the opinion that the significance of 
the letter is neither a numeral nor a place in a series 
nor a conjunction nor any of the subordinate parts of 
speech. No, it is an address and salutation to the god, 
complete in itself, which, by being spoken, brings him 
who utters it to thoughts of the god's power. For the 
god addresses each one of us as we approach him here 
with the words ' Know Thyself/ b as a form of wel- 
come, which certainly is in no wise of less import 
than * Hail ' ; and we in turn reply to him * Thou art/ 
as rendering unto him a form of address which is 
truthful, free from deception, and the only one be- 
fitting him only, the assertion of Being. 

18. " The fact is that we really have no part nor 
parcel in Being, but everything of a mortal nature is 
at some stage between coming into existence and 
passing away, d and presents only a dim and uncertain 
semblance and appearance of itself ; and if you apply 
the whole force of your mind in your desire to 
apprehend it, it is like unto the violent grasping of 
water, which, by squeezing and compression, loses the 
handful enclosed, as it spurts through the fingers e ; 

b Cfi Plato, Charmides, 164 d-e. 

6 Cf. Philo, Be Iosepho, 125 (chap. xxii.). 

d Cf. Diels, Frag, der Vorsokratiker, i. 15, Anaximander, 
no. 9 ; Plato, Phaedo, 95 e ; von Arnim, Stoicorum Veterum 
Fragmenta, ii. 594 (p. 183). 

• Cf. Moralia y 1082 a. 

239 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(392) reap rra6y]TO)v /cat /zera/JA^Taw 1 eKaoTov rrjv dyav 
evdpyeiav 6 Xoyos 8lo)Kwv air oa^dXXeTaL rrj piev 
els to yiyvd[ievov avrov rrj 8* els to $deipop.evov y 
ovbevos Xafieadai fievovTos ovh* ovtos ovtojs 
Swajxevos. 

* UoTajjLtp yap ovk edTiv epifirjvai Sis tco avTw ' 
Ka6 J 'H/xx/cAetro*' op8e dvrjTTJs ovaias Sis dipaadai 

KaTOL €gW ttAA' O^VTTjTL KCU TCX^t fA€TafioXfjs 

Q ' OKiSvqot, /cat 7rdXw avvdyet/ jjl&XXov 8* ovSe 
rrdAiv ovS' voTepov dAA* a/xa ovvLoTdTai /cat 
diroXelrref /cat ' Trpoaetot /cat aTreioi.' 

' "OOev ouS' els to eluac irepalvei to yiyvopuevov 
avrrjs rep p,rjSe7TOTe Xrjyeiv p,rj8' taraaflat 3 tt)v 
yeveoiv, dXX* diro crTrepfiaTos del pLeTafiaXXovoav 
epufipvov iroielv etra fSpe(}>os eVra 7ratSa, /xetpa/ctov 
i(/)€^TJs, veavioKov y eVr* avSpa, Trpea^VT-qv, yepovTa, 
TGis TTpojTas cf)deipovoav yeveaets /cat rjXtKLas Tat? 
eTnytyvo /xevais . aAA' r^iels eva <f>of$ovjjLe9a yeXoia>s 
ddvaTov, rjSrj tooovtovs TeOvrjKOTes /cat OvrjaKovTes. 
ov yap jxovov, ws c Hpa/cAetro? eXeye, * nvpos 
OdvaTos aepi yeveois, /cat depos OdvaTOS vSaTi 

j) yeveois J aAA' eri oa<j>ecrTepov en-* avTcov rjfAOjv* 
tSots" dv <f>detp€TaL jiev 6 d/c/xd£au> 5 yevop,evov* 
yepovTOS, icf>0dpr] 8' 6 veos els tov d/c/id^o^ra, /cat 

1 naOTjTwv Kal fierapX-qTiov Eusebius, Praep. Ev. xi. 1 1 : 
iraBrjfidTCJV /cat neTafidvTcov. 

2 fi&XXov 8« ovbe . . . a7roA€i7r« not in mss. ; added here from 
Eusebius. 

3 LaraaBai Eusebius : rjTTaaOai. 

4 T)iia>v Eusebius : rj hi wv or Ihois dV, the latter of which 
should probably be included in the text. 

5 6 aKfid£,a>v Eusebius : d/c/xd£cov. 

6 ytvofievov] ywofidvov some mss. 

240 



THE E AT DELPHI, 392 

even so Reason, pursuing the exceedingly clear appear- 
ance of every one of those things that are susceptible 
to modification and change, is baffled by the one 
aspect of its coming into being, and by the other of 
its passing away ; and thus it is unable to apprehend 
a single thing that is abiding or really existent. 

" ' It is impossible to step twice in the same river ' 
are the words of Heracleitus, a nor is it possible to lay 
hold twice of any mortal substance in a permanent 
state ; by the suddenness and swiftness of the change 
in it there * comes dispersion and, at another time, 
a gathering together * ; or, rather, not at another time 
nor later, but at the same instant it both settles into 
its place and forsakes its place ; it is coming and 
going/ 

11 Wherefore that which is born of it never attains 
unto being because of the unceasing and unstaying 
process of generation, which, ever bringing change, 
produces from the seed an embryo, then a babe, then a 
child, and in due course a boy, a young man, a mature 
man, an elderly man, an old man, causing the first 
generations and ages to pass away by those which 
succeed them. But we have a ridiculous fear of one 
death, we who have already died so many deaths, and 
still are dying ! For not only is it true, as Heracleitus b 
used to say, that the death of heat is birth for steam, 
and the death of steam is birth for water, but the case 
is even more clearly to be seen in our own selves : the 
man in his prime passes away when the old man comes 
into existence, the young man passes away into the 

• Cf. Diels, Frag, der Vorsokratiker, i. p. 96, Heracleitus, 
no. 91. Plutarch refers to this dictum also in Moralia, 559 c. 

b Cf. Diels, Frag, der Vorsokratiker, i. p. 93, Heracleitus, 
no. 7(i. 

241 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(oyj) o 7rats" eis" TOI/ ^^ov, eis de rov rraioa to vryniov o r 
exdes 1 €ls rov arjfiepov redvrjKev, 6 8e ar^iepov els 
rov avpiov amoOvrjOKei- fievet 8' ovSets 1 ov8* eariv 
els, dAAa yiyvofxeda ttoXXol, Trepl ev rf (fyavraafia 
Kal kowov eKfiayelov vXrjs TrepieXavvopLevrjs koX 
oXicrdavovorjs . eirel ttcos ol avrol fjievovres erepois 
X<iipofJi€v vvv, erepois irporepov, ravavrla (friXovfAev 
rf* fjuaovpuev Kal davfid^opbev Kal if/eyofiev, aXXocs 

E Se 8 xpou/x€0a Xoyois aXXous TraOeoiv, ovk el8os ov 
p,op(f)rjv ov Stdvoiav en rrjv avrrjv exovres; ovre 
yap dvev p,erafioXf\s erepa rraoxew €lkos, ovre 
jj,eraf$dXXa>v 6 avros ecrrw el 8' 6 avros ovk eariv, 
ov8 eartv, aAAa 6 rovr avro p,erafiaXAei ytyvofxevos 
erepos e£ erepov. ifsevSerat, 8' r) aiadrjcrcs dyvoia 
rod ovros etvat, to (f>aiv6fjLevov. 

19. It ovv ovtojs ov eon; to aiocov /cat a- 
yevrjrov Kal dcf>6aprov, co x/ooVos' p>€rafioXrjv ov8e 
els eirdyei. Kivqrov yap tl Kal KtvovpLevrj avp,- 
cfyavTa^ofxevov vXrj Kal peov del Kal fir) areyov, 1 
ojorrep dyyelov <f>6opag Kal yeveoeojs, 6 XP^ V °^> ov 
ye 8rj to fxev * erreira ' Kal to * rrporepov ' Kal 
to * eorai * Xeyofxevov Kal to ' yeyovev* avrodev 

F e^ofioXoyrjals eart rod firj ovros " to ydp ev rw elvai 
to fjL7]8e7ra) yeyovos rj TTerravpLevov rjSrj rov elvac 
Xeyeiv ojs eariv, evrjOes Kal arorrov. a* Se fjudXiara 

1 or ^xdcs] 6 rexdcls one ms. : 8c xdes Eusebius. 

2 Tt added from Eusebius. 

3 7rpoT€pov added from Eusebius. * 77] /cat Eusebius. 

5 8c omitted by Eusebius and one ms. 

6 dXXa Eusebius : a/xa. 

7 oreyov Eusebius : oreppov. 



Cf. Plato, TimaeuSy 50 c. 



242 



THE E AT DELPHI, 392 

man in his prime, the child into the young man, and the 
babe into the child. Dead is the man of yesterday, for 
he is passed into the man of to-day ; and the man of 
to-day is dying as he passes into the man of to-morrow. 
Nobody remains one person, nor is one person ; but 
we become many persons, even as matter is drawn 
about some one semblance and common mould ° with 
imperceptible movement. Else how is it that, if we 
remain the same persons, we take delight in some 
things now, whereas earlier we took delight in different 
things ; that we love or hate opposite things, and so 
too with our admirations and our disapprovals, and 
that we use other words and feel other emotions and 
have no longer the same personal appearance, the 
same external form, or the same purposes in mind ? 
For without change it is not reasonable that a person 
should have different experiences and emotions ; and 
if he changes, he is not the same person ; and if he is 
not the same person, he has no permanent being, but 
changes his very nature as one personality in him 
succeeds to another. Our senses, through ignorance 
of reality, falsely tell us that what appears to be is. 

19. " What, then, really is Being ? It is that which is 
eternal, without beginning and without end, to which 
no length of time brings change. For time is some- 
thing that is in motion, appearing in connexion with 
moving matter, ever flowing, retaining nothing, a 
receptacle, as it were, of birth and decay, whose 
familiar ' afterwards ' and * before,' ' shall be ' and 
* has been,' when they are uttered, are of themselves 
a confession of Not Being. For to speak of that which 
has not yet occurred in terms of Being, or to say of 
what has already ceased to be, that it is, is silly and 
absurd. And as for that on which we most rely to 

243 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

rrjv vo'qaiv eirepe&ovTes 1 tov ^povov, to ' iv- 
€arrjK€ ' /cat to ' irdpeoTi * /cat to ' vvv ' <j)6ey- 
yofieda, tovt av 7rdAiv clttclv 2 eloSvopievos 3 6 Xoyos 
a/7roAAuatv. €/c#Atj3eTat yap els to uVAAov /cat to 
Tiapujyy)p,evov Loairep aK/jirjv* fiovXojJLevoLS* I8eiv, ££ 
393 dvdyKrjs SuoTapievov. el 8e raura Tib [KeTpovvTi 

7T€7TOV0€V Tj fl€T pOV fJL€vrf <f)VOLS, Ov8eV aVTTJS fJLeVOV 

ovS* ov eoTiv, aAAa ycyvofieva TrdvTa /cat <j>9eipopLeva 
xara tt)v irpos tov %p6vov GVvvep/r]oiv . 7 oftev ouS' 

OOLOV* eOTLV OV& €7TL 9 TOV OVTOS XlyeUV d)S fjV Tj 

eoTai' TavTa yap eyKXioeis Tives eloi /cat /xcra- 
fidoeis /cat 7rapaXXd£eis tov fieveiv ev tco etrat purj 

7T€<f>V KOTOS* 

20. " 'AAA' eartv o 6eos, el 10 xpr) cj>dvai, /cat eon 
/car' ov8eva xP° vol; dXXd /cara tov alcjva tov d- 
KivrjTov /cat a\povov /cat aviyKkvrov koX ov irpoTepov 
ovoev eoTiv ovo voTepov ovoe fieAAov ovoe nap- 
oj^rjixevov ov8e TrpeofivTepov 11 ov8e veojTepov aAA' 
els a)v evl tco vvv to del 7Te7rXrjpojKe, Kat jjlovov eoTi 
B to KaTa tovtov 12 ovtojs ov, ov yeyovos ov8* eoofievov 
ov8* dp^dfievov ov8e Travoop,evov . ovtojs ovv 13 avTov 1 * 
Set oeftofievovs dcmd^eodai, /cat npooayopeveiv, 15 
et, /cat vt) ZXta, ojs evioi tojv iraAaiojv, et ev. 

1 €ir€p€thovT€s Eusebius : wrtpiSovres or vTrcpeiSovrcs. 

2 a7rai> Reiske : dyav (dyav cod. D). 

3 €iabv6fi€vo^ F.C.B. ; ivSvoficvos Hartman : €k8vojj.€vos mss., 
ixXvofievos Eusebius. 

4 aKixrjv F.C.B. : aKfii] mss. ; Eusebius has avyrj. 

5 jSouAo/icVots Eusebius : povXofievos. 

6 tj /ACTpou/xcVrj Eusebius : rj p.4rrpov p,ev r). 

7 owv4iA7)aLv Eusebius : vw*\iLyr\. 

8 ovo* oaiov] ovBcv toiovtov Eusebius. 

* ovb' Bernardakis, im Eusebius: ouSe or ouSev (em only 
Eusebius). 
244 



THE E AT DELPHI, 392-393 

support our conception of time, as we utter the words, 
' it is here/ ' it is at hand,* and c now ' — all this again 
reason, entering in, demolishes utterly. For* now 'is 
crowded out into the future and the past, when we 
would look upon it as a culmination ; for of necessity it 
suffers division. And if Nature, when it is measured, 
is subject to the same processes as is the agent that 
measures it, then there is nothing in Nature that has 
permanence or even existence, but all things are in the 
process of creation or destruction according to their 
relative distribution with respect to time. Wherefore 
it is irreverent in the case of that which is to say even 
that it was or shall be ; for these are certain devia- 
tions, transitions, and alterations, belonging to that 
which by its nature has no permanence in Being. 

20. " But God is (if there be need to say so), and He 
exists for no fixed time, but for the everlasting ages 
which are immovable, timeless, and undeviating, in 
which there is no earlier nor later, no future nor past, 
no older nor younger ; but He, being One, has with 
only one ' Now ' completely filled ' For ever ' ; and only 
when Being is after His pattern is it in reality Being, 
not having been nor about to be, nor has it had a 
beginning nor is it destined to come to an end. 
Under these conditions, therefore, we ought, as we 
pay Him reverence, to greet Him and to address 
Him with the words, ' Thou art ' ; or even, I vow, as 
did some of the men of old, ' Thou art One/ 

10 ct added from Eusebius and Cyriilus; not in mss. 

11 ov&€ fj.€?(Aov . . . 7rp€o{}vT€pov not in the mss. ; added from 
Eusebius. 

12 rovrov] tovto, avrd, raura, in different traditions. 

13 ovv added from Eusebius and Cyriilus ; not in mss. 

14 avrov] avro in most mss. 

15 irpoaayoptveiv Eusebius : 7rpoae0t£eiv. 16 cf Cyriilus : ?}. 

245 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(393) " Oz) yap TroXXd to 6<dov icrTiv, ws rjpicov eKaaros 
e/c fjLvpLtov Siacfyop&v iv TrdOeai y iyvop.lv u>v , adpoi- 
crfia 7Tavro8aTrov Kal 7ravrjyvpLKajg pepeiyp,€vov 

aAA eV €LVOLL 0€L TO OV , OJOTTtp OV TO €V . T) O 

€T€poT7)s Siacfropa 1 TOV OVTOS €tV yeveoiv e^LGTaTat 
C tov p,rj ovtos. oOev ev Kal to nptoTOv k'xet tco deep 

TWV OVOpLOLTCOV /CCU TO SeVT€pOV KCLL TO TpLTOV '. 

* KiroXkiov pXv yap olov apvovpuevos tcl ttoXXol Kal 
to Trkrjdos a7TO(f)daKa)v ecrrtV, 'Itjlos 2 8' ci? els Kal 
fxovos' Q>olfiov Se 8-qrrov to Kadapov Kal dyvov ot 
TraXaiol Ttav ajvopta^ov , J)s en ©erraAot tovs lepeas 
ev Tats airofypdoiv r)p,epais avTovs ecfS eavTCJv e£a> 
hiaTpifiovTas, ot/xat, ' fyoifiovopLelod at ' Xeyovotv. 

"To 8' ev elXiKptves Kal Kadapov eTepov yap puet^et 
rrpos eTepov 6 puaapLOSy a>s ttov Kal "OpL-qpos ' eXe- 
(f>avTa * Tivd $oiviooop,evov fiacfri} l puaLveodai ' 
<f>rjaL' Kal tcx pueiyvvpieva tojv xpa>/xdVa>y ol fSa<j>els 
* <f)deipeo9ai * Kal * <f)9opdv ' tt\v p,elt;LV 6vop,a- 
D ^ovglv. ovkovv ev t efyat Kal aKpaTov del TO) 
d<f>6dpTtp Kal KaOapto TrpocrrjKei. 

21. " Tov$ 8' 'A7roAAa>^a /cat rjXtov rjyovuevovs 
tov avTov da7Td£ecrdaL pcev cl£l6v eart /cat (f>cXelv St' 
ev<f>viav, o pidXiGTa Tcpbdjoiv &v taaac Kal Trodovcriv, 
€ls tovto TidevTas TOV 0€OV T7JV €7TtVOtaV' d)$ 8 6 

1 8ia<f>opa] 8ia<f>opa in most wss. 
8 *Irjtos Xylander: tyros. 

* Of. 354 b, 381 f, and 388 r, supra. 

b leius is doubtless derived from Irj, a cry used in invoking 
Apollo, but Plutarch would derive it from ta, c^?» an epic 
word meaning "one." 

c Of. 388 f and 421 c, infra. 

d Homer, 77. iv. 141. 

246 



THE E AT DELPHI, 393 

" In fact the Deity is not Many, like each of us 
who is compounded of hundreds of different factors 
which arise in the course of our experience, a hetero- 
genous collection combined in a haphazard way. But 
Being must have Unity, even as Unity must have 
Being. Now divergence from Unity, because of its 
differing from Being, deviates into the creation of that 
which has no Being. Wherefore the first of the god's 
names is excellently adapted to him, and so are the 
second and third as well. He is Apollo, that is to say, 
denying the Many a and abjuring multiplicity ; he is 
Ieius, as being One and One alone b ; and Phoebus, as 
is well known, is a name that the men of old used to 

five to everything pure and undefiled ; even as the 
hessalians, to this day, I believe, when their priests, 
on the prohibited days, are spending their time alone 
by themselves outside the temples, say that the priests 
1 are keeping Phoebus/ 

" Unity is simple and pure. For it is by the ad- 
mixture of one thing with another that contamination 
arises, even as Homer d somewhere says that some 
ivory which is being dyed red is being ' contaminated/ 
and dyers speak of colours that are mixed as being 
* spoiled ' e ; and they call the mixing ' spoiling/ f 
Therefore it is characteristic of the imperishable and 
pure to be one and uncombined. 

21. " Those who hold that Apollo and the sun are 
the same/ it is right and proper that we welcome and 
love for their goodness of heart in placing their con- 
cept of the god in that thing which they honour most 
of all the things that they know and yearn for. But, 

• Cf. 4,36 b, infra, and Moralia 270 f. 

' Cf. Moralia, 725 c. 

9 Ibid. 1130 a, and 386 b, supra. 

247 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

VVV €V Tip KaXXlGTCO TO)V ivVTTVLOJV TOV 0€OV OV€lpO~ 

ttoXovvtcls 1 iyetpajfjuev Kal TrapaKaAcopuev dvoJTepa) 
7Tpody€Lv Kal deaoOai 2 to virap* avrov Kal ttjv 
ovotav, tljjl&v Se /cat ttjv eiKova r^rSe /cat oefieodai 
to 7T€pl avTTjV yovip,ov , a>? avvoTov eoTiv alcrOyjTW 

E VOTjTOV Kal <f)€pOfJL€VO) [A€VOVTOS, €fJi<f)da€LS tlvcis Kal 

€t'8a>Aa hiaXapLTTovo-av dp,a)oy€7rws ttjs nepl €K€lvov 

€VfJL€V€LaS Kal liaKapLOT7]TOS . €KCFTdcr€lS §' aVTOV 

Kal /xerajSoAas rrvp d(f>i€VTOs eavTov a/xa cmdaav* 
ojs Aeyovaw, avdls re KaTadAifSovTos ivTavda Kal 6 
KaTaT€ivovTos els yrjv* Kal OdAaTTav Kal dvepovs 
Kal t,tpa, Kal rd Setvd TraOrffjuaTa Kal ^ojojv /cat 
<j)VTO)V, ov8* aKovetv ocrcov r\ tov TroirjTCKov TraiSos 
carat (f>avAoT€pos, fjv eKelvos ev tlvl i/japbddcp avv- 
TidepLevr) Kal Siax^ofievr) 7raAtv v(f> y avTov 7rat^€t 
TratStay, TavTrj rrepl to, oAa XP ( ^ ) 1 X€V0 ^ ^et, Kai T ® v 
F Koojjiov ovk ovTa TrAaTTOjv eiT dmoXAvojv yevo- 
fievov. TovvavTiov yap ooov dpLutcryeTraJs iyyeyove 

Tip KOGpLCp, TOVTCp 1 OVvhtl TTJV OVOiaV Kal KpaT€L 

ttjs Trepl to aajfiaTiKov aadeveias £ttI <f)dopdv 
(frepofiev-qs. /cat /xot 8o/cet /xaAtara irpos tovtov tov 
Aoyov dvT it aTT 6 puevov to prjfia Kal pLaprvpoptevov 
' €i ' cf>dvai irpos tov Oeov, ojg ovherroTe yiyvopLevrjg 
394 Ttepl avrov e/ccrracrcajs /cat /xeTajSoArJs', aAA' €T€pco 

1 6v€ipo7roXovmas Reiske : oveiponoXovvTes. 

2 deaodai] dtaoaoBai in nearly all mss. 

3 virap Wyttenbach : v-nkp. 

4 cnraaav F.C.B. : ottujoiv. 

5 Kal added by Reiske. 

6 els yrjv] elcrl in nearly all mss. 

7 tovtw] tovto in all mss. but one. 



a Cf. 389 c, supra. 
b Cf. Homer, //. xv. 362. 



248 



THE E AT DELPHI, 393-394 

as though they were now having a sleepy vision of the 
god amid the loveliest of dreams, let us wake them 
and urge them to proceed to loftier heights and to 
contemplate the waking vision of him, and what he 
truly is, but to pay honour also to this imagery of him 
in the sun and to revere the creative power associated 
with it, in so far as it is possible by what is perceived 
through the senses to gain an image of what is con- 
ceived in the mind, and by that which is ever in 
motion an image of that which moves not, an image 
that in some way or other transmits some gleams 
reflecting and mirroring his kindliness and blessed- 
ness. And as for his vagaries and transformations 
when he sends forth fire that sweeps his own self 
along with it, as they say, a and again when he forces 
it down here and directs it upon the earth and sea and 
winds and living creatures, and, besides, the terrible 
things done both to living creatures and to growing 
vegetation — to such tales it is irreverent even to listen ; 
else will the god be more futile than the Poet's 
fancied child b playing a game amid the sand that is 
heaped together and then scattered again by him, if 
the god indulges in this game with the universe 
constantly, fashioning the world that does not exist, 
and destroying it again when it has been created. 
For, on the contrary, so far as he is in some way 
present in the world, by this his presence does he bind 
together its substance and prevail over its corporeal 
weakness, which tends toward dissolution. And it 
seems to me right to address to the god the words 
' Thou art,' which are most opposed to this account, 
and testify against it, believing that never does any 
vagary or transformation take place near him, but 
that such acts and experiences are related to some 

249 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(394) rivl 9eu), fiaXAov Se hatjiovi rerayfxepq) irepl T?)t> 
£v (f>6op& /cat yeveaei cfrvoiv, rovro 7roieiv /cat 7raa- 
X*w TrpoarjKov, 1 <bs SrjXov iariv airo rcov dvo/xarcov 
€i)6vs olov ivavrlcov ovtojv /cat avrufycLvajv. Aiyerai 
yap 6 p,€v 'AttoWlov 6 Se UAovtojv, /cat 6 jxev 
A^Ato? d 8' 9 AtScav€vg, /cat d /xef Oot^os" d Se 
ZC/coTtos" /cat 77ap' <£ /xer at Moucrat /cat ^ Mwy- 
fXoavvT), Trap to 5' ^ Arjdrj /cat vy Sta>7r^* /cat d /ter 
Qecopios koll Oa^ato9, d §€ 

Nu/crds- dtSyaV 2 depy^Aotd #' "Ytwou Koiparog' 

/cat d /*€V 

fipOToTcTL OeCJV €X01GTOS aTT&VTCDV, 

B Tr/Do? ov Se ELVSapo? etprjKev ovk arjou)? 

KareKpidrj Se Qvoltois* dyavcorarog kfificv. 

Ct/COTO)? OW O EuptTTtS'T}? €t7T€ 

AotjSat veKvcov (frdipcevcov 
dotSat 0' a? 4 xpvooKofias 
'A7rdAAajv ou/c cvSe^CTat* 

/Cat 7TpOT€pOS €Tl TOVTOV 6 l&TriOl)(OpOS 9 

1 7rpoarJKov Reiske : npoarJKev. 

2 atBv&s from 1 1 30 a : atooias. 

3 8c flvarots Wyttenbach from 413 c, 1102 e. : Sc'oi' aurots 
or Scovaroi?. 

4 #' as- Markland: as- e (raj Euripides mss.). 



a C/. the note on 385 u, supra. 

b Cf. Moralia, 1130 a; Bergk, Poet. Lyr. Oraec. iii. p. 719, 

250 



THE E AT DELPHI, 394 

other god, or rather to some demigod, whose office 
is concerned with Nature in dissolution and genera- 
tion ; and this is clear at once from the names which 
are, as it were, correspondingly antithetic. For the 
one is spoken of as Apollo (not many), the other as 
Pluto {abounding) ; the one Delian {clear), the other 
Ai'doneus {unseen) ; the one Phoebus {bright), the 
other Scotios {dark) a ; with the one are associated 
the Muses and Memory, with the other Oblivion 
and Silence ; the one is Theorian {observing) and 
Phanaean {disclosing), and the other 

Lord of the darkling Night and idling Sleep * ; 

and he is also 

Of all the gods most hateful to mortals. e 

Whereas concerning the other Pindar d has said not 
unpleasingly 

And towards mortal men he hath been judged the most 
gentle. 

It was fitting therefore for Euripides e to say, 

Drink-offerings for the dead who are gone 
And the strains that the god of the golden hair, 
Apollo, will never accept as his own. 

And even before him Stesichorus/ 

Adespota, no. 92 ; or Edmonds, Lyra Graeca (in L.C.L.), 
iii. p. 452. 

c Homer, II. ix. 159. 

d Pindar, Frag. 149 (ed. Christ), quoted also in 413 c, 
infra, and in Moralia, 1102 e. 

6 Suppliants, 975. 

f Bergk, Poet. Lyr. Graec. iii. p. 224, Stesichorus, no. 50 ; 
or Edmonds, Lyra Graeca (in L.C.L.), ii. p. 58. 

251 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(394) vdfiXav 1 tol fxaXtara 

7raiyfjL0<Jvvas T€ 2 </>iAei pboXirds r 'AttoXXcov, 
KaSea 8e 3 OTova^ds r 'AiSa? cAa^e. 

TiOcf>oi<Xrjs 8e koll tG)v opydvojv ihcarepa) TrpoavipaDV 

£KOLT€pOV 8ijX6s €GTL Sid TOVTOJV , 

ou lajSAa 4 KOdKvrolaiv ov Xvpa <f)iXa. 

11 Kat yap 6 avXos* oxfje koli Trpcorjv iroXp^ae (Jxjoi^v 
C ' e<f>* Ipiepoecnv* * a(f)i€vaf tov Se trpcoTOV xpovov 

€lXk€TO TTpOS TOL 7T€v6rj, KOLI TTjV 7T€pl TGLVTa Aci- 

rovpyiav 1 ov /xaA' Zvrifiov ovhe (f>aihpdv elxev, elr 
€pL€V)(dri TTOLvra 7racrt. 8 ptdXiOTa Se rd Beta 7rpd$ 
rd SacpLovta avyx^ovres els Tapaxty avrovs kolt- 
earrjaav. 

1 'AAAa ye ra> et to ' yvcoOt, aavTov 9 ' eotKe ttojs 
dvTLKelodai koI TpoTTov Ttvd TrdXiv ovvdSetv TO p,ev 
yap €K7rXr}i;€i /cat oefiaopLa) rrpos tov 8e6v cos 6Vra 
Sta ttojvtos dvarrecfxjovrjTai, to 8 VTrop.vrjois coti rai 

6v7)Ttp TTJS 7T€pl CLVTOV <f)VO€GJ$ Kol doOeveLOLS." 

1 vdpXav F.C.B. : i^dXa. 

2 re added by Bergk. 

3 Kaoea §€ Bergk : K7/8ed re. 

4 ov vdftXa Brunck : iv avXd or ov vatJAa or ovv dfiXa. 

5 avXos] avros in most mss. 

6 €</>' Ifiepoemv F.C.B. : icfrivepdtoiv. 

7 Xetrovpyiav Reiske : avrovpytav. 

8 irdvra ttq\oi Emperius : 7Tavrdrraoi. 

9 aavrov Bernard akis : oeavrov. 



252 



THE E AT DELPHI, 394 

The harp and sport and song 

Most doth Apollo love ; 

Sorrows and groans are Hades' share. 

And it is evident that Sophocles a assigns each of the 
instruments to each god in these words : 

No harp, no lyre is welcome for laments. 

" As a matter of fact it was only after a long lapse of 
time and only recently that the flute ventured to utter 
a sound ' over things of delight/ but during all the early 
time it used to be fetched in for times of mourning, 
and it had the task of rendering service on these 
occasions, not a very honourable or cheerful one. 
Later it came to be generally associated with every- 
thing. Especially did those who confounded the 
attributes of the gods with the attributes of demi- 
gods get themselves into confusion. 

" But this much may be said : it appears that as a 
sort of antithesis to * Thou art ' stands the admoni- 
tion ' Know thyself,' and then again it seems, in a 
manner, to be in accord therewith, for the one is an 
utterance addressed in awe and reverence to the god 
as existent through all eternity, the other is a re- 
minder to mortal man of his own nature and the 
weaknesses that beset him." 

Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag., Sophocles, no. 7G5. 



253 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI NO 

LONGER GIVEN IN VERSE 

(DE PYTHIAE ORACULIS) 



INTRODUCTION 

Plutarch's essay on 'the changed custom at Delphi 
is quite as interesting for its digressions as for its 
treatment of the main topic. Portents, coincidences, 
history, a little philosophy, stories of persons like 
Croesus, Battus, Lysander, Rhodope, finally lead up 
to the statement that many oracles used to be 
delivered in prose, although still more in early times 
were delivered in verse ; but the present age calls 
for simplicity and directness instead of the ancient 
obscurity and grandiloquence. 

We possess a considerable body of Delphic oracles 
preserved in Greek literature, as, for example, the 
famous oracle of the ' wooden wall ' (Herodotus, vii. 
141). Practically all of these are in hexameter verse. 
Many more records of oracles merely state that some- 
one consulted the oracle and was told to perform a 
certain deed, or was told that something would or 
might happen, often with certain limitations. We 
have, therefore, no means of determining the truth 
of Plutarch's statement, but there is little doubt 
that he is right. If we possessed his lost work, 
Xf)ii(T{xo>v a-vvaywyyj (no. 171 in Lamprias's list), we 
should have more abundant data on which to base 
our decision. 

The essay often exhibits Plutarch at his best. 
Hartman thinks that Plutarch hoped that the work 

256 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI 

would be read at Rome, and therefore inserted the 
encomium of Roman rule near the end. 

The essay stands as no. 1 1 6 in Lamprias's catalogue. 
It is found in only two mss. and in a few places the 
tradition leaves us in doubt, but, for the most part, the 
text is fairly clear. 

The references to the topography and monuments 
of Delphi have become more intelligible since the site 
was excavated by the French. Pomtow, in the 
Berliner Philologiscke JVochensckrif't, 1912, p. 1170, 
gives an account of the monuments visited by the 
company in this essay. 



257 



(394) KEPI TOY MH XPAN EMMETPA 
D NTN THN nYGIAN 

TA IIPOSGIIA TOT AIAAOrOT 

llpJira, BA2IAOKAH2, 4>IAIN02 

&€vr€pa, <f>IAIN02, AIOrENIANOS, 0EHN, 

2APAIHftN, BOH0O2, EHHrHTAI 1 

K 1 . BA2JAOKAH2. 'EaTrepav eVot^craTe fSaOeitxv, u> 
<J>iXlv€, Sta tlov dvadrjfjLdrcov 7rapa7T€pL7TovT€s rov 
£4vov iyco yap u/xd? avafxeviov d/Trnydpeuaa. 

*IAIN02. UpaSecog yap ojoevofiev, to BacrtAd/cAct?, 
oTTzipovTes Xoyovs /cat Oepi^ovres €v0i>s fjL€ra /xa^Ty? 
imovXovs 2 /cat rroXefjiiKovs, toonep ol 27raprot, 
fiXaoravovras rjpuv /cat V7T0tf>vojjL€Vovs Kara rrjv 
ohov. 

BA2. "Erepov ow rtva Secret 7rapa/caAetv tlov 
rrapayeyovortov 3 77 av fiovXei ^apt^d/x^o? r)p£v Si- 
eXOeiv* rtVcs" ^crav ot Adyot /cat rtVc? ot Xtyovres ; 

F *IA. ^/XoV, 0)9 €OLK€V, CO BaCTtAo/cA^tJ, TO 

epyov. tlov ydp aAAaw ovSevl paSta)? aV evrv)(ois 
Kara 7r6Xw tovs yap TrXeiarovs ktoptov avdis els to 
\{topvKiov rep ££vLp /cat tt]v AvKtbpeiav* ovvava- 
fiaivovras . 

* TA TIPOSnnA . . . EHHrHTAI] not in the mss. 

2 vnovXovs] €v6tt\ovs or 7toAAov? E. Harrison. 

3 SteAfletv Leonicus : SuAetv. 

258 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI NO 
LONGER GIVEN IN VERSE 

(The persons who take part in the dialogue are Basilocles 
and Philinus, who serve to introduce the later speakers : 
Diogenianus, Theon, Sarapion, Boethus, as well as Philinus 
himself and some professional guides.) 

1 . basilocles. You people have kept it up till well 
into the evening, Philinus, escorting the foreign 
visitor around among the statues and votive offerings. 
For my part, I had almost given up waiting for you. 

philinus. The fact is, Basilocles, that we went 
slowly, sowing words, and reaping them straightway 
with strife, like the men sprung from the Dragon's 
teeth, words with meanings behind them of the 
contentious sort, which sprang up and flourished along 
our way. 

basilocles. Will it be necessary to call in someone 
else of those who were with you ; or are you willing, 
•as a favour, to relate in full what your conversation 
was and who took part in it ? 

philinus. It looks, Basilocles, as if I shall have that 
to do. In fact, it would not be easy for you to find 
anyone of the others in the town, for I saw most of 
them once more on their way up to the Corycian cave 
and Lycoreia ° with the foreign visitor. 
° Pausanias, x. 6. 2-3. 
4 Avtcatpeiav the regular spelling : Avicovptav. 

259 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

BA2. ^H (^iXodedpiOJV Tis r^iiv /cat rrepirrajs 
c^tA^/cooV ioriv 6 £eVo?. 

<MA. OtAoAoyos 1 oe Kal (fytXojjLadrj? ion jjl&A- 
Xov. ov fjLrjv ravra fxdXtora davfid^eiv d£iov, aAAd 

395 TTpaorrjs re ttoXXtjv x®-P lv *X OV(ja > KCLL T ° \^o.X L l xov 
Kal hiairopriTiKov vtto ovvioeuis , ovre SvokoXov ovt* 
avrirvTTov Trpos ra? aTTOKpiaeis* axjre Kal fipa>X v 
Gvyy€v6p,€vov zvOvs tiTTtiv, " re/cos dyaOov 7ra- 
rpos." oloda ydp kioyeviavov avopcov dpcorov. 

BA2. AUTOS" fl€V OVK €LOOV, c5 OlAu'6, 77oAAot? 

8* ivT€rvx r ] Ka * a ^ TOV Xoyov Kal to rjdos ravopos 
layyp&s aTroSe^o/xeVots', o/iota Se tovtols ere pa 
rrepl rod veavioKov Xiyovoiv. aAAa riva t w iraipe, 2 
®-PX*) v ^ (J X ov OL Xoyoi Kal irpofyaoiv ; 

2. *ia. 'ETrepaivov ol 7T€pi7)yr]ral ra ovvTtray- 
fieva, jjLTjoev tj/jlcov (frpovrLaavres o€Tj6evra)v Im- 
TZfjielv ra? prjotis Kal ra iroXXa rcbv iTTLypajjLfjLarajv . 
rdv ok £evov rj fxev tSe'a /cat to re^i/t/coV tG>v dv- 
B opidvrojv pL€TpLa>s rrpooijyero, noXXcov Kal /caAa>i> 
epycov ojs €OLK€ Ozarrjv yeyevrjjjievov iOavpua^e* Se 
rod ^aA/cou to avdiqpdv d)s ov ttlvco irpooeoiKos 
ouS* ta>, fiafifj oe Kvdvov oriX^ovros , ware Kal 
TTpoodzZvai rt 4 Trpos tovs vavdpxovs 6 (a7r* zkzivojv 
yap rjpKTo* rrjs 64as) olov drex^^s OaXarriovs rfj 
Xf> oa Ka ^ fivOiovs eortoras. 

1 <f>i\rjKoos Meziriacus : <f)(,\iKos. 

2 w iTaLpe Wyttenbach : irdpav, 

3 iBavfjtalc Basel ed. of 154-2: idavfxa^ov. 

4 TTpooOeZvai ti F.C.B. ; 7rai£cu ti Doehner : 7re/i«/»at ti. 

6 vavdpxovs Amyot : veapxovs. 

6 fjpKTO Kurtz : ^pKrai. 

a Cf. Plato, Republic, 368 a. 

b Presumably the thirty-seven statues of Lysander and 
260 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, S94-395 

basilocles. Our visitor is certainly eager to see the 
sights, and an unusually eager listener. 

philinus. But even more is he a scholar and a 
student. However, it is not this that most deserves 
our admiration, but a winning gentleness, and his 
willingness to argue and to raise questions, which 
comes from his intelligence, and shows no dissatis- 
faction nor contrariety with the answers. So, after 
being with him but a short time, one would say, " O 
child of a goodly father ! " a You surely know 
Diogenianus, one of the best of men. 

basilocles. I never saw him myself, Philinus, but 
I have met many persons who expressed a strong- 
approval of the man's words and character, and who 
had other compliments of the same nature to say 
of the young man. But, my friend, what was the 
beginning and occasion of your conversation ? 

2. philinus. The guides were going through their 
prearranged programme, paying no heed to us who 
begged that they would cut short their harangues and 
their expounding of most of the inscriptions. The 
appearance and technique of the statues had only 
a moderate attraction for the foreign visitor, who, 
apparently, was a connoisseur in works of art. He 
did, however, admire the patina of the bronze, for 
it bore no resemblance to verdigris or rust, but the 
bronze was smooth and shining with a deep blue tinge, 
so that it gave an added touch to the sea-captains b 
(for he had begun his sight-seeing with them), as they 
stood there with the true complexion of the sea and 
its deepest depths. 

his officers (erected after the battle of Aegospotami), which 
stood near the entrance inside the sacred precinct. C/. 
Life of Lysander, chap, xviii. (443 a). 

261 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(395) ' T Ap' ovv," €</n), " Kpdais tls rjv /cat <f>dpp,a£is 
rcov rrdXai rexvtrcov rrepl rov ^aA/coV, djorrep r) 
Xeyofievrj rcov ^ufrwv OTop,a)OLs fjs iKXetTrovorjs 
€K€x<£t,pLav zoyzv epyojv iroXefjuKcov 6 ^aA/cos; rov 1 
p,ev yap VLoptvOtov ov Texvy (fxioiv 2 dXXd ovvrvxla 
rrjs X/ooa? XafSelv to kolXXos, eVtvetyta/AeVou rrvpos 
C olklolv €xovodv tl xP va °v /<:a ^ dpyvpov, rrXeloTov ok 
X<iXk6v d7TOKeifji€vpv, <Lv , ovyxvdevTcov /cat ovv- 

TdKeVTCOV, OVOfJLGL TOV ^aA/COl? TO) fl€l£oVl* TO TrXfj- 
809 TTap€OX €V " 

r O Se Qewv V7ToXafia>v, " dXXov," €<f>rj, " Xoyov 
rjfiels dKrjKoafJLev rravovpyeorepov , a>s dvrjp iv 
Y^opLvdco ^aA/co'TWos' erriTVxdjv 6fJKrj x? V(Jlov 
€xovo7j rroXv /cat SeSot/co)? <f>av€pds yeveoOat /cara 

fJUKpOV dlTOKOTTTCOV Kdl V7TOfJL€LyVVS dTpC/Ad Tip 

XolXkco 6avp,aoT7]v Aa/xjSdVoi'rt Kpdcnv e7TL7TpaoK€ 
ttoXXov Sta tt)v xP° av KOil T ° xdXXos dyaTTcofievov . 
dXXd /cat ravra /ea/cetra pivBos icrrtv rjv Se tis cos 
koiKC p,el(;is /cat dprvois, a)S ttov /cat vvv dvdKepav- 
D vvvres dpyvpco xp va ^ v tStai/ tlvol /cat TreptTTrjv ifiol 
§e <f)divofJLf.vr)v vocrcvSrj xAoj/ooT^ra KaL <f>Qopdv 
aKaXXr) rrapexovoi" 

3. \iv ovv ainav, ccprj o IXioyevtavos , otet 
rr)s ivravOa rov ^aA/cou xpoas 4 yeyovevau;" 

at o l^€a)f , orav, €(f>rj, rcov irptoTOjv /cat 

1 rov Basel ed. of 1542 : to. 

2 <j>aolv added by Bernardakis. 

3 roj /uct^ovi] fictyfian Blass, but cf. M or alia, 140 f. 

4 \p6as, the more usual form, Duebner: xP 01 ^- 

Tempering in the water of Peirene was held to be one 
important factor in the production of Corinthian bronze. 
Cf. e.g. Pausanias, ii. 3. 3. On the whole subject of 
262 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 395 

44 Was there, then/' said he, " some process of 
alloying and treating used by the artizans of early 
times for bronze, something like what is called the 
tempering of swords, on the disappearance of which 
bronze came to have a respite from employment in 
war ? As a matter of fact," he continued, " it was 
not by art, as they say, but by accident that the 
Corinthian bronze a acquired its beauty of colour ; a 
fire consumed a house containing some gold and silver 
and a great store of copper, and when these were 
melted and fused together, the great mass of copper 
furnished a name because of its preponderance. " 

Theon, taking up the conversation, said, " We have 
heard another more artful account, how a worker in 
bronze at Corinth, when he had come upon a hoard 
containing much gold, fearing detection, broke it 
off a little at a time and stealthily mixed it with his 
bronze, which thus acquired a wondrous composition. 
He sold it for a goodly price since it was very highly 
esteemed for its colour and beauty. However, both 
this story and that are fiction, but there was appar- 
ently some process of combination and preparation ; 
for even now they alloy gold with silver b and produce 
a peculiar and extraordinary, and, to my eyes, a sickly 
paleness and an unlovely perversion/' 

3. " W r hat do you think, then/' said Diogenianus, 
44 has been the cause of the colour of the bronze here ? " 

Theon replied, " When of the primal and simplest 

Corinthian bronze, it is worth while to consult an article by 
T. Leslie Shear, *' A Hoard of Coins found in Corinth in 
1930," in the American Journal of Archaeology, xxv. (1031) 
pp. 139-151, which records the results of chemical analyses 
of samples of the bronze. 

6 Making the ancient electrum, which was often used for 
coinage, plate, and similar purposes. 

263 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(395) <f>vaLKO)rdro}v KaXovpcevcov 1 /cat ovrojv, irvpos Kal 
yrjs Kal depos Kal voarog, juLTj&ev 2 d'AAo rev ^aA/co) 
TrXrjOiatfl /xr/S' opuXfj ttXt/v jjlovos 6 arjp, orjX6$ 

IgTIV VTTO TOVTOV TTeTTOl'QtOS Kal Sid TOVTOV cVj^/COJ? 

fjv €X €l Stacpopav aVt ovvovra /cat TrpooKelpLevov rf 

rovrl* puev rjSrf TTplv Qeoyviv yeyovevat 

Kara, rov KOjpuKov; tjv 8' k'xojv tf>vaiv 6 drjp fj re 
E xooj^evos Swdpuec /caret rag eiTupavoeis emKexpcoKe 
rov ^aA/coV emOvfxels piaOe.lv; " 

Qrjtravros Se rov Aioyevtavov, " /cat yap eyto" 
eVnev> " a> rral' ^rjreopiev ovv Koivfj /cat rrporepov, el 
fiovXec, St' fjv air Lav /zaAtora rtov vypcov aVam/z- 
TrXrjaiv lov rovXatov ov ydp avro ye Stjttov rco 6 
XO-Xkco TtpoorpLfieraC rov lov, are Srj Kadapov avrco 
/cat dfjulavrov TrXrjOid^ovy* 

{JvoafJiajs, enrev o veavcas, aAAo o avrco 

/xot So/cet rourof 9 to airiov vrrdpxeiv Xerrrco yap 

ovri /cat Kadapco /cat Stauyet TTpocnTirrrtov 6 log 

F eKcftaveoraros ecrrtv, ev Se rot? aAAots* vypols 

dc^avi^erai.'* 

K\ t f\ r tt f >> ? tt ? ** \ \ <-» in 

at o vyeojv, evye, enrev, a> irai, /cat kclaws 

GKOTrei 8' 6t fiovAei /cat r?)v U7r' ' Ap terror eXovs 

a Iriav Xeyojx evrjv . ' 

" 'AAAa jSouAojLtat," eiTrev. 11 

1 KaXov^cvcov F.C.B. (o/. Lt/<? o/ Cleomenes, chap, xiii., 
810 c) : /cat ioop.£va>v. 

2 /i^Sev Basel ed. of 1542: Kal fi^Bev. 3 ij F,CJ3.: 17. 

4 tout! Cobet (from 777 c): tovto. 

5 17017 added by Kock {rjheiv 777 c). 6 tw Leonicus? to, 
7 7Tpoo~rpip€Tai Wyttenbach : irpoorpi^crdat. 

6 ir\r)oid£,ov Amyot : frAijoxafoira. 
9 tovtov Turnebus : tovto. 

264 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 395 

elements in Nature, as they are called and actually 
are — fire, earth, air, and water — there is none other 
that comes near to the bronze or is in contact with it, 
save only air, it is clear that the bronze is affected by 
this, and that because of this it has acquired whatever 
distinctive quality it has, since the air is always about 
it and environs it closely. a Of a truth 

All this I knew before Theognis' day, b 

as the comic poet has it. But is it your desire to 
learn what property the air possesses and what power 
it exerts in its constant contact, so that it has imparted 
a colouring to the bronze ? " 

As Diogenianus assented, Theon said, " And so also 
is it my desire, my young friend ; let us, therefore, 
investigate together, and before anything else, if you 
will, the reason why olive-oil most of all the liquids 
covers bronze with rust. For, obviously, the oil of 
itself does not deposit the rust, since it is pure and 
stainless when applied/' 

" Certainly not," said the young man. " My own 
opinion is that there must be something else that 
causes this, for the oil is thin, pure, and transparent, 
and the rust, when it encounters this, is most visible, 
but in the other liquids it becomes invisible." 

11 Well done, my young friend," said Theon, " and 
excellently said. But consider, if you will, the reason 
given by Aristotle." c 

" Very well," said he, " I will." 

° Cf. Life of Coriolanus, chap, xxxviii. (232 a). 
6 Kock, Com. Att. Frag. iii. p. 495, Adespota, no. 461. 
Plutarch quotes this again in Moralia, 777 c. 
c Not to be found in Aristotle's extant works. 

10 kclXcjs added by Reiske. 

11 etrr^v Xylander : eiVeu>. 

265 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

" O^crt rolvw rcov {jlcv oXXojv vypojv movra St- 
*X €LV dSrjXoJS Kal hiacrneiptoQai rov lov dvojfjbdXojv 1 
Kal p,avtov ovrojv, 2 rov 8* iXalov rfj TrvKvorrjri 
areyeoOat Kal Sta/zeVeu> aQpoi^ojievov. av ovv Kal 
avroi tl roiovrov vrrcQeadai SwrjOajfiev, ov rravrd- 
rraaiv Q/TTopr\vo\L€V iTTcvSrjs Kal Trapa/JLvOtas rrpos 
rr)v ajTToplav!* 
396 4. '£&? ovv ikeXevofiev Kal avvexaypodfiev, e(f>rj 
rov dcpa rov £v AeX<f)Ois, ttvkvov ovra Kal awex*} 
/cat rovov kyovra Sta rrjv drro row opa>v av&KXaoiv 
Kal avrepeiaiv, en Kal Xztttov tlvai /cat Sr/zcrt/coV, 
cS? ttov fiaprvpeZ Kal ra rrepl ras Trixjjeis rfjs rpo- 
<frr]s. ivSvofxevov ovv vtto Xerrrorrjros Kal refxvovra 
rov %aXKOv dvax^pdrreiv ttoXvv lov ££ avrov Kal 
yeajSrj, areyecv Se rovrov av ttclXiv Kal me^eiv, rrjs 
7rvKvorr]Tos Staxwcv* fir) SiSovarjs, rov 8' vcf>Lcrrd- 
fM€Vov avrov* Sta rrXrjOos i^avOetv Kal Xajifidveiv 
avyrjv Kal ydvojjxa rrepl rrjv i7TL(f>dv€iav . 
B ' A7To8e^afJi€va)v 8' rjfiojv, 6 ££vos €<f>rj rrjv eripav 
dpK€iv VTToOeaiv TTpos rov Xoyov. " r) Se Xerr- 
Torrqs" c<f)rj, " So£et (lev v7T€vavriovodai Kal rrpos 
rr)v Xeyojxevrjv rrvKvorrjra rov aepos, Xafi/Sdverai 8' 
ovk dvayKacaJS' airros yap v<f>* eavrov TraXatov- 
fxevos 6 ^aA/cos* arroweX Kal fiedirjai rov lov, ov r) 
7TVKv6rr)s ovvexovaa Kal rraxvovoa TTOiei €K(f)avrj Sta 
to 7t\tj0os." 

IrroAapcov b oiyetov, rtyap, eirrev, to geve , 
ko)Xv€l r avrov 6 etvat, Kal Xerrrov Kal ttvkvov, oocrnep 

1 avayiaAa>v early editors (raiv fioplcov Strijd ; aJii alia) : 
dvwfxdXcov rwv. 

2 iiavuiv ovruiv VlllcobillS : jicvovtwv. 

3 Sidxvmv added by someone to fill a lacuna. 

4 avrov Reiske: avroi SiCVeking: avr* or avrov* 

266 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 395-396 

M Now Aristotle says that when the rust absorbs 
any of the other liquids, it is imperceptibly disunited 
and dispersed, since these are unevenly and thinly 
constituted ; but by the density of the oil it is pre- 
vented from escaping and remains permanently as it 
is collected. If, then, we are able of ourselves to 
invent some such hypothesis, we shall not be alto- 
gether at a loss for some magic spell and some words 
of comfort to apply to this puzzling question." 

4. Since, therefore, we urged him on and gave him 
his opportunity, Theon said that the air in Delphi is 
dense and compact, possessing a certain vigour because 
of the repulsion and resistance that it encounters from 
the lofty hills ; and it is also tenuous and keen, as the 
facts about the digestion of food bear witness. So 
the air, by reason of its tenuity, works its way into 
the bronze and cuts it, disengaging from it a great 
quantity of rust like dust, but this it retains and holds 
fast, inasmuch as its density does not allow a passage 
for this. The rust gathers and, because of its great 
abundance, it effloresces and acquires a brilliance and 
lustre on its surface. 

When we had accepted this explanation, the foreign 
visitor said that the one hypothesis alone was sufficient 
for the argument. " The tenuity/' said he, " will 
seem to be in contravention to the reputed density 
of the air, but there is no need to bring it in. As a 
matter of fact the bronze of itself, as it grows old, 
exudes and releases the rust which the density of the 
air confines and solidifies and thus makes it visible 
because of its great abundance." 

Theon, taking this up, said, " My friend, what is 
there to prevent the same thing from being both 

5 t&.vt6v ftenseler: ravro. 

267 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(396) tcl arjpLKa Kal ra fivcraiva tcov vcfyaofxaTajv, €<£' cop 

Kal "OjJLrjpOS €L7T€ 

Kacpoaeajv 1 S' SOovcov 2 aTroAct/krat vypov eXaiov, 
ei'SecKvvfjievos ttjv aKpifieiav Kal XeTrror-qra tov 

C V(f>OVS TO) fJLTj 7TpOCrfX€V€iV TO eXcLLOV (xAA* OLTTOppeiV 

/cat a7ToXta6dv€tv y rrjs XeTTTOTrjTOS /cat itvkvo- 
ttjtos ov 8uelo7]s 3 ; /cat /jltjv ov [xovov ixpbs tj)v afa- 
xdpa£tv tov tov *£pr)o air dv rts* rfj X€7tt6t7jtl tov 
aepos, aAAa /cat tt)v xP® av clvtt)v TToielv eoiKev 
r)Stova /cat yXavKorepav, dvap,€iyvvovoa ra> Kvdvco 
(f>a>S /cat avytfv." 

5. E/c tovtov yevofJLevrjs oiumrfs, ttoXiv ol irtpi- 
rjyqral 7rpo€X€tpL%ovTO tcls p^aevs. XP 7 ] a t JL °^ ^ e ' 
tlvos ifJL[A€Tpov Xex^evTos , olfxai, Trepl tt)s Alyo)vos 
tov Apyetov ^aoiXecag, rroXXaKis €<j>rj Oavpiaoai 
tcov €tt(x)v 6 kioyeviavos , iv ots ol xp^oyxot XeyovTai, 
ttjv (f)avXoT7]Ta Kal ttjv evTeXeiav. " /catrot puovo- 
rjyeTrjs 6 Qeos, Kal ttjs Xeyopuevrjs XoytoTrjTos oi>x 

D rJTTOV aVTtp TO KaXoV Tj TTfS 7T€pl /XeA^ /Cat toSciS 

ev(/>a>VLas 5 /JL€T€Lvai, Kal 7toXv tov 'HatoSof eveTreia 
Kal tov "OjJLrjpov imepcfrOeyyecrOac tovs Se 7roXAovs 

TCOV XP r )Gf Ji £> l/ 6ptO(Ji€V Kal TOls fJL€TpOLS /Cat TOt£ 

ovo/jLacri TrX^fjupLeXeias Kal tf>avXoTr)Tos avaTTeirXr)- 
ajJLevovs." 

Hapd>v ovv 'AOrjvrjOev 6 TroirjTrjs Hapa7TLOjv* 

€LT y ^■4 >r ]> " ra ^ Ta Ta t 777 ) T °V SeoV 7TtOT€VOVT€S 

1 Kaipoaia)v from Homer : /cat wv. 

2 odovlcov Homer. 

3 $u€lot)s Reiske : 8ur)oi. 

4 ti? added by Bernardakis. 

5 €v<j>oivlas Reiske : Kal €v<j>oovlas. 

6 Lapamcuv Bernardakis, as in 384 e, 628 a : aepamcav. 

268 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 396 

tenuous and dense, like the silken and linen varieties 
of cloth, touching which Homer a has said 

Streams of the liquid oil flow off from the close-woven linen, 

showing the exactitude and fineness of the weaving 
by the statement that the oil does not remain on the 
cloth, but runs off over the surface, since the fineness 
and closeness of the texture does not let it through ? 
In fact the tenuity of the air can be brought forward, 
not only as an argument regarding the disengaging 
of the rust, but, very likely, it also makes the colour 
itself more agreeable and brilliant by blending light 
and lustre with the blue." 

5. Following this a silence ensued, and again the 
guides began to deliver their harangues. A certain 
oracle in verse was recited (I think it concerned the 
kingdom of Aegon the Argive 6 ), whereupon Dio- 
genianus said that he had often wondered at the 
barrenness and cheapness of the hexameter lines in 
which the oracles are pronounced. " Yet the god is 
Leader of the Muses, and it is right and fair that he 
should take no less interest in what is called elegance 
of diction than in the sweetness of sound that is 
concerned with tunes and songs, and that his utter- 
ances should surpass Hesiod and Homer in the 
excellence of their versification. Yet we observe 
that most of the oracles are full of metrical and verbal 
errors and barren diction." 

Sarapion, the poet who was present from Athens, 
said, " Then do we believe these verses to be the 

° Od. vii. 107. Cf. Life of Alexander, chap, xxxvi. (686 c) ; 
Athenaeus, 582 d. 

b Plutarch recounts the story of this oracle in Moralia, 
340 c. 

269 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(396) eu'ai roXjJLWfxev 1 av ttolXlv cos AetVerat 2 /cdAAci tcov 
'OiJLTjpov Kal ^HatoSov, Xeyeiv; ov xP r } (T °f JL€ @ a 
tovtols cos aptura Kal /cdAAtora TT^iroirnxivoLs , in- 
avopOovfxevot rrjv avrcov 3 Kplaiv irpoKaTeLXruxpLevqv 
V7to cfravXrjs avvrjOe tag ; " 

'YTroXafichv ovv Bdr^o? 6 yecojJL€Tpr]s (otada yap 
E tov dvSpa p,€TaTaTT6iJL€vov rjSr] 7rpog tov 'Etu'/cou- 
pov), ap ovv, ecprj, to tov ^cpypayov llavcrco- 
vos aKr'jKoas; 

Qvk eycoye," elrrev 6 Sapamco^. 
1 'AAAd fjLrjv d£t,ov. €/cAaj3wi> yap cos €OiK€v 
iTTTTOv dXtvSovfJievov ypdiftat Tpi^ovT eypaifjev. dya- 
vaKTovvTos 8e TavOpcoirov yeXdoas 6 Ylavacov 
KaT€OTpeifj€ tov mVa/ca, Kal yevofxevcov dvco tcov 
kovtco ndXiv 6 Ittttos ov Tpeyoov dAA* dXivhovpuevos 
i(f>aLV€To. tovto (fyrjoiv 6 Biow ivtovs tcov Xoycov 
irdoxeiv, oTav avaoTpa^cooi. 4, Sid Kal tovs XPV" 
ofjiovs €vlol <f>rjoovoiv ov KaXcos £X €LV > 0Tl r °v @ € °v 
F elcnv aXXd tov deov fxrj etvai, otl <f>avXcos kxovoiv. 
iiceivo [lev yap ev dSrjXcp* to Se TraprjfieX^pLevcos 5 
TTCTTovrjcrQai rd ntpl tovs XPV^f 10 ^ Kai aoc K P LT V 
8rj7Tov0€V, co </>i'Ae Hapairicov," et7rev, " evapyes eoTi. 
noc7]{j,aTa ydp* ypd<f>€is tols fJ^€V TrpdypiaoL <f>cXo- 
oo<f)cos Kal avGTTjptos, Swdfiei Se /cat ^dptrt /cat 
KaTaoKevfj nepl Xe^iv eot/cdra tois ^QpLTjpov Kal 

1 ToA/icu/xev Meziriacus : to dfj.cjp.ov, 

2 Xeiirerai Meziriacus : Xcyerai, 

3 avrcjv Bernard ak is : avr&v. 

4 avaarpa<f>a>ai PerizoniuS: avaarpecjxxxji . 

5 TTapTjjjLeXTjfievws F.C.B., to fill a lacuna in the mss. : ovk 
€u ra Irtt] 7T€7roLrj(76ai Wyttenbaeh. 

6 yap fteiske : p.€v yap, 

270 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 396 

god's, and yet dare to say that in beauty they fall 
short of the verses of Homer and Hesiod ? Shall we 
not treat them as if they were the best and fairest 
of poetic compositions, and correct our own judge- 
ment, prepossessed as it is as the result of unfortunate 
habituation ? " 

At this point Boethus a the mathematician entered 
into the conversation. (You know that the man is 
already changing his allegiance in the direction of 
Epicureanism.) Said he, " Do you happen to have 
heard the story of Pauson the painter ? " b 

" No," said Sarapion, " I have not." 

" Well, it is really worth hearing. It seems that 
he had received a commission to paint a horse rolling, 
and painted it galloping. His patron was indignant, 
whereupon Pauson laughed and turned the canvas 
upside down, and, when the lower part became the 
upper, the horse now appeared to be not galloping, 
but rolling. Bion says that this happens to some 
arguments when they are inverted. So some people 
will say of the oracles also, not that they are 
excellently made because they are the god's, but 
that they are not the god's because they are poorly 
made ! The first of these is in the realm of the 
unknown ; but that the verses conveying the oracles 
are carelessly wrought is, of course, perfectly clear to 
you, my dear Sarapion, for you are competent to 
judge. You write poems in a philosophic and re- 
strained style, but in force and grace and diction they 
bear more resemblance to the poems of Homer and 

° Called the Epicurean in Moral ia 9 673 c. 

b Cf. Aelian, Varia Hi$toria> xiv. 15. According to the 
scholium on Aristophanes, Plutus y 602, the Pauson mentioned 
there is probably the same man. 

271 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

'HoxdSou puaXXov rj rocs' vtto rfjs YVvOias eKcf)€po- 

JJL€VOLS." 

6. Kcu 6 Hapa7TL(x)v, " vocrovpev yap/' elrrev, " co l 
TiorjOe, koll rd aira koll ra oppuara, avveidiopitvoi 
Sid rpv<j>r)v koll paXaKuav rd 77810* KaAd vopi^ew 

397 /cat drro^aiveadai. Ta^a 817 pepufsopueda rrjv Hv- 
diaVy on YXavKrjs ov cpdeyyerai rrjs KiOaptpSov 
Xtyvpwrepov, ov8e ^piop,hrrf puvpois ouS' dXovp- 
ytSas" ap.TT^ypp.ivy] Kareicnv 3 els to pavrelov? ouS' 
€7tl9v(ju& Kaoiav 5 r) A^Savw r) XifiavcoTov dXXd 

8d<f>V7)V KOll KpldiVOV dXevpOV . OV)( Op&S," €177-61/, 

" dorjv X^? lv *X €t T( * 2a7T^i/cd peXrj KiqXovvra koI 
KaradeXyovra rovs aKpoajpevovs ; ' Lt/8uAAa 8e 
pLawo/jL€vtp oropari ' KaO* ' H/>d/cAet7W ' dye'AaaTa 
feat aKaXX(x)7T terra Kal dpLvpiora (fydeyyopevq, xiXIcdv 
ircav egacvclrai rfj cfrajvfj Sta toV deov! 6 8e 
B ricVSapos" ' aKovcrai* ' (f>7)Oi, ' rod deov rov KdS/xoz/ 
e7n8eiKvvpevov pLovaiKav 7 opddvj oi>x rj8elav ov8e 

TpV(j)€pdv OuS' €7TlK€KXaOfJL€V7]V TOLS pLeXeOCV. 'HSo- 

vrjv yap ov Trpoaierai ro drradeg Kal dyvov y dAA' 
evravda perd rrjs "Arris* eppl(f>7] Kal to TtXelarov 
avrfjs Ka/cdV cos eoiKev eh ra tora rGiv dvOpamuiv 

OVV€ppV7}K€V." 

7. Elrrovros 8e ravra rov Hapan icovos , 6 Qitov 

1 ctTrev, co Basel ed. of 1542 : lv re va). 

2 xpiO[iivt] VulcobillS : xpLOfievrjv. 

3 dfiTTexo'tiivq klvtuoiv Reiske : a/XTre^o/Ltenyv /cat t«j«>. 

4 jxavrcLov added by F.C.B. from 438 h ; xPV aT7 iP iOV Paton 
from 405 c ; dSvrov Reiske. 

5 Kaaiav Duebner : Kacroiav. 

6 aKovaai Leonicus : aKovoas. 

7 €7ri&€LKvvfjL€vov fjLovuiKav Paton from 1030 a : ov fiovaiKciv. 

8 "Attjs Vulcobius (cf. Horn. T 126); Xvtttj? H. Richards: 

avTrjs. 

272 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 396-397 

Hesiod than to the verses put forth by the prophetic 
priestess." 

6. " The fact is, Boethus," said Sarapion, " that 
we are ailing both in ears and eyes, accustomed as 
we are, through luxury and soft living, to believe and 
to declare that the pleasanter things are fair and 
lovely. Before long we shall be finding fault with the 
prophetic priestess because she does not speak in purer 
tones than Glauce, a who sings to the lyre, and because 
she is not perfumed and clad in purple when she goes 
down into the inner shrine, and does not burn upon the 
altar cassia or ladanum or frankincense, but only laurel 
and barley meal. Do you not see," he continued, 
" what grace the songs of Sappho have, charming and 
bewitching all who listen to them ? But the Sibyl 
* with frenzied lips/ as Heracleitus b has it, * uttering 
words mirthless, unembellished, unperfumed, yet 
reaches to a thousand years with her voice through 
the god.' And Pindar c says that ' Cadmus heard 
the god revealing music true,' not sweet nor volup- 
tuous nor with suddenly changing melody. For the 
emotionless and pure does not welcome Pleasure, but 
she, as well as Mischief,** was thrown doAvn here, and 
the greater part of the evil in her has, apparently, 
gathered together to flood the ears of men." e 

7. When Sarapion had said this, Theon smiled and 

° Cf. the scholium on Theocritus, iv. 31. 
b Diels, Frag, der Vorsokratiker, i. p. 96, Heracleitus, 
no. 92. 

c Pindar, Frag. 32 (ed. Christ). 

d Cf. H. Richards in the Classical Review, xxix. 233. 

• Cf. Moralia, 38 a-b. 

9 kclkov F.C.B. : Kal. 

273 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(397) /xetStacras", " 6 Hapanlajv [lev," etire, " to elojdds 
a7To8e8a)K€ ra> TpoTrco, Xoyov Trzpi "Ary]s Kal 1 
*H8ovrjs TTapajreaovTos duoXavaas' ^/xet? S* cS 
N6r)0€, Kav fj (f)avX6r€pa rtov 'Ojxrjpov ravra ra 
errrj, {jltj vopi^ajpLtv aura 7r€7roLr}Kevau tov Oeov, dXX 

C €K€LVOV T7]V dpxty TTJS KlVTjOeOJS iv8l86vTOS, 0)S 

eKaoTT) 7T€(j>VK€ Kivelodat tcjv 7Tpocf>r]TL8a)v. Kal ydp 
el ypd(f)€Lv eSec \xr\ Xeyeiv tovs xpr)Gp,ovs , ovk dv 
oifioiL tov Oeov rd y/m/z/zara vopit^ovTes iifjeyop,ev 
or i XeiireTai KaXXiypa(f>lq rcov paoiXiKtbv . ov yap 
k'oTi Oeov rj yrjpvs oi>8 y 6 <f>06yyos ov8* rj Xe£is ov8e 
to fjLerpov dXXa rfjs yvvaiKos* eKelvos 8e p,6vas ra$ 
(f>avraoLas Trapiar-qoi Kal (f>cos ev rfj faxf] rroiet 
7rp6g to {leXXov o yap evOovoiaapios toiovtov Ioti. 

KadoXoV 8' €L7T€LV, VfJL&S TOVS TOV JLlTlKOVpoV TTpO' 

(f>7]Tag (8fjXos ydp el /cat avTos vTrofepofievos) ovk 
J) €Otl 8ta<f>vyelv , dXXd KaKeivas 2 atTLaaOe 3 Tag irdAai 
7Tpo(f>rjT c8as cos ^avXois TTonjpLaot ^paj/xeVas", Kal 
Tas vvv KaTaXoyd8rjv Kal 8ia toov kirvrvyovTitiv 
ovojjLaTOJV tovs XP r ) cr l JLOVS Xeyovoas, ottws vpXv 
aK€(f)dXojv Kal Xayapcbv p,eTpa)v Kal p.eiovpoov ev- 

r\ r \ e / tt 

ovvas /x?^ VTTeyoioi, 

jr \ < A t tt \ «vo >t f tt ? \ 

lvat o Hioyeviavos , p<r) 7rai4 , etTrei', a> Trpos 
Oetbv, aAAa 8idXvoov rjptv TavTrp? tt)v diropldxy 
Kowrjv ovaav. ov8els yap koTiv -qpcou* os ovk alrlav 

1 "Kr-qs kul Duebner ; Xvirrjs kclI H. Richards : ainrjs tt}s. 

2 KaK€ivas Wyttenbach : KdKias. 

3 alnaode Leonicus : alriaaOai. 

4 fjfitjjv Harder ; 'EXXrjvcjv Stegmann : dXXcov or aXX-jXcov, 

274 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 397 

said, " Sarapion has yielded as usual to his propensity 
by taking advantage of the incidental mention of 
Mischief and Pleasure. But as for us, Boethus, even 
if these verses be inferior to Homers, let us not 
believe that the god has composed them, but that he 
supplies the origin of the incitement, and then the 
prophetic priestesses are moved each in accordance 
with her natural faculties. Certainly, if it were 
necessary to write the oracles, instead of delivering 
them orally, I do not think that we should believe the 
handwriting to be the god's, and find fault with it 
because in beauty it fell short of that of the royal 
scribes. As a matter of fact, the voice is not that 
of a god, ft nor the utterance of it, nor the diction, nor 
the metre, but all these are the woman's ; he puts 
into her mind only the visions, and creates a light 
in her soul in regard to the future ; for inspiration 
is precisely this. And, speaking in general, it is 
impossible to escape you who speak for Epicurus b 
(in fact you yourself, Boethus, are obviously being 
borne in that direction) ; but you charge the prophetic 
priestesses of old with using bad verse, and those of 
the present day with delivering their oracles in prose 
and using commonplace words, so that they may not 
be liable to render an account to you for their wrong 
use of a short syllable at the beginning, middle, or 
end of their lines ! c " 

"In Heaven's name/' said Diogenianus, " do not 
jest, but solve for us this problem, which is of universal 
interest. For there is not one of us that does not seek 

° Cf. 404 b and 414 e, infra. 
b Frag. 395. 

c Instead of the long syllable demanded by the metre. 
Cf. Athenaeus, 632 d. 

275 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(397) iiri^rjTeZ Kal Xoyov , rrcos 1 neTravTai to {lavretov 
eireon Kal p,€Tpois 2 xP c * ) l JL€VOP '•" 

'YTToXafjcbv ovv 6 Qecov, " dAAa /cat iw," €1776^, 

"co 7rat, 8oKovfi€v €7Tr)p€ia tlvI rovs 7T€ptrjyrjras 

E a<f>Gup€Ladai to olkcZov epyov. eaoov ovv yeveodat 

to toutoji; irporepov, elra ixepl a>v fiovXei kclO* 

rjovxtav hiaTroprjO€is. yy 

8. "HSr} Se TTpolovres 7}p<€v Kara top 'lepcovos dv- 
Sptavra rod Tvpdvvov /cat tcov fxev dXXwv 6 ^eVos* 
€i§d>s aTTavra napeZx^v o/.tcos' vtt evKoXcas aKpoarrfV 
ciutoV axoucras S' oti Kitov tis cot cos ava> ^aA/coO? 

'IcOOJ^OS €TT€Cr€V aVTOjjLaTOJS T7JS TjjAepaS €K€LV1]S, fj 

tov K \4pojva avvefiaivev iv HvpaKovcrous reXevrav, 
iOavjjiaae. Kayw twv ojjlolojv aAAa 3 orvvavepLLfJivr]- 
okov, ola Srj rov 'leptovos* fxev TovYtTrapTiaTov , on 
7rpo rrjs €V AevKrpois aVTLQ yevofxevqs TeXcVTTjS 

€^€7T€OOV Ol 0(f)daXflOL TOV dvhpidvTOS, ol §' CLOT€p€S 

F y\$aviadi\aav ovs Avoavhpos dveOrjKev oltto ttjs iv 
Alyos TTorafjioTs vau/xa^tas" o 8' avrov rov 5 Av- 
odvhpov XlQwos avopids i^rjvdrjoev dyplav Ao^/x^r 
Kal Troav rooavrrjv to ttXtjOos, wore KaraKpvifjai to 
irpoaamov iv 8e toZs HtKeXiKoZs tcov 'Adrjvalojv 
OLTVX^}l^cLcnv at T€ xP vaa ^ T °v <J>olvikos drrippeov 
fidXavoc, Kal rrjv dairloa tov UaXXaStov KopaKes 

1 it(x)s Duebner : ws. 

2 fidrpoLS F.C.B.; dXXois iierpois Reiske from p. 402 b; 
ZXiyois Madvig ; eXcyelois Wilamowitz-M Ollendorff : Xoyois. 

3 aAAa F.C.B. : a/xa. 

4 'Iepajvos-] "Epfj-wvos von der Muhl. 

5 rov added by Stephanus. 

° Cf. Pausanias, x. 9. 7, with Xenophon, Hellenics vi. 
4. 9. Presumably the same man is referred to in both 

276 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 397 

to learn the cause and reason why the oracle has 
ceased to employ verse and metre." 

Whereupon Theon, interrupting, said, " But just 
now, my young friend, we seem rather rudely to be 
taking away from the guides their proper business. 
Permit, therefore, their services to be rendered first, 
and after that you shall, at your leisure, raise ques- 
tions about any matters you wish." 

8. By this time we had proceeded until we were 
opposite the statue of Hiero the despot. The foreign 
visitor, by reason of his genial nature, made himself 
listen to the various tales, although he knew them 
all perfectly well ; but when he was told that a 
bronze pillar of Hiero's standing above had fallen of 
itself during that day on which it happened that 
Hiero was coming to his end at Syracuse, he expressed 
his astonishment. Whereupon I proceeded to recall 
to his mind other events of a like nature, such, for 
example, as the experience of Hiero ° the Spartan, 
how before his death, which came to him at Leuctra, 
the eyes fell out of his statue, and the stars dis- 
appeared which Lysander had dedicated from the 
naval battle at Aegospotami ; and the stone statue 
of Lysander b himself put forth a growth of wild 
shrubs and grass in such abundance as to cover up 
the face ; and at the time of the Athenian mis- 
fortunes in Sicily, the golden dates were dropping 
from the palm-tree and ravens were pecking off the 
edge of the shield of Pallas Athena c ; and the crown 

passages, as lie may well have lived till the battle of Leuctra 
in 371 b.c, and he may be mentioned also in Xenophon, 
Hellenica, i. 6. 32, but whether his name was Hiero or 
Hermon cannot, apparently, be determined with certainty. 

6 Cf Life of Lysander, chap, xviii. (443 a). 

c Cf. Pausanias, x. 15. 5. 

277 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

iT€pc€K07TT0V 6 8e KwSuw arecfravos , ov (bapaaXlq 
rfj opxrjGTplSL OtAo^Ao? 6 QoDKecov rvpavvos 
iSojprjaaro, pieraardcrav clvttjv €k rijs 'EAAdSos* els 
rrjv 'IraXiav, arrcLXeaev ev Merarrovrlcp Trai^ovoav 
398 ^ept tov v€cbv rod 'AttoXXqjvos* opprjoavres yap em 
rov ori^avov ol veavioKoi /cat pLaxopevoi rrepl rod 
Xpvaiov Trpos aXXrjXovs SieoTraoav rrjv avOpumov. 

' ApLcrroreXrjs pev, ovv p.6vov "Oprqpov eAeye klvov- 
jjLeva TTOielv ovopara Sta rrjv ivepy etav iyd) Sc 
(fxxirjv dv /cat rcov dvadvj pudr a>v rd ivravdol p,dXtora 
ovyKiveioQai /cat ovveTnorjpaiveLV rfj rod deod 
rrpovoia, /cat rovrojv p,£pos p,r)8ev elvai Kevov p/qS' 
dvatodrfrov , aAAd 7TcrrXr}orda(, irdvra deiorrjros. 

K* f "D ' /} it t a f tt > \ 5 ~ \ 

at o norjuos, vat, €L7T€V ov yap ap/c£t tov 

0eo> ets ocop,a Kadeipyvvvai dvqrov aVaf eKaurov 

B pr)vos> dAAd /cat At'0a> iravri /cat ^aA/ca> ovp<j>vpd- 

aopLev avrov, cooirep ovk k'xovres 1 d£toxp€a>i> tojv 

rotoirra>v avpLTrrajpLarajv rrjv rvxV v fypnovpyov /cat 

TavTo/xarov." 

xLtT , €<p77i> €ya>, t^X 7 ? crot 0OK€L Kai civro- 

parov rcov roiovrajv e/caoTov reflet/ceVat, 2 /cat 7rt- 

davov iart ras dropiovs e^oXiaOetv /cat StaAuftr^at 3 

/cat Trap ey/c A u>at /x^re rrporepov pajd* vorepov, aAAa 

/car' €Keivov rdv xpovov, £v co rwv dvaBevrmv exa- 

aros rj x € ^P ov ^tcAAc irpd^eiv r\ fieXriov; /cat <7€ 

/xe> 'Em/co^pos 1 wfeXel vdv d)s eot/cev d</>' cov etWev 

7) eypaifje Trpo ira>v rptaKoalcov 6 Beds S', £t p,rj 

C avveLp^€t€ <f)€pajv A iavrov els diravra yu^S' dvaKepa- 

1 exovres Anon. : exovros* 2 rtdeiKevai F.C.B. : coikcVcu. 

3 5taAt»^vat] SiaxvOrjvat, Usener. 

4 <f>€pa)v] <f>vpa)v Pohlenz. 

a Cf. Athenaeus, 605 c. 
278 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 397-398 

of the Cnidians which Philomelus, despot of the 
Phocians, had presented to the dancing-girl a Phar- 
salia caused her death, after she had emigrated from 
Greece to Italy and was disporting herself in the 
vicinity of the temple of Apollo at Metapontum ; for 
the young men made a rush for the crown, and as 
they struggled with one another for the gold, they 
tore the girl to pieces. 

Aristotle b used to say that Homer is the only poet 
who wrote words possessing movement because of 
their vigour ; but I should say that among votive 
offerings also, those dedicated here have movement 
and significance in sympathy with the god's fore- 
knowledge, and no part of them is void or insensible, 
but all are filled with the divine spirit. 

" Yes indeed," said Boethus. " It is not enough 
to incarnate the god once every month in a mortal 
body, but we are bent upon incorporating him into 
every bit of stone and bronze, as if we did not have 
in Chance or Accident an agent responsible for such 
coincidences." 

" Then," said I, " does it seem to you that chance 
and accident have ordered every single one of such 
occurrences ; and is it credible that the atoms slipped 
out of place and were separated one from another 
and inclined towards one side neither before nor 
afterwards, but at precisely the time when each of 
the dedicators was destined to fare either worse or 
better ? And now Epicurus c comes to your aid, 
apparently, with what he said or wrote three hundred 
years ago ; but it does not seem to you that the god, 
unless he should transport himself and incorporate 

b Rhetoric, iii. 11 (1411 b 31) ; cf. Frag. 130 (ed. Rose). 
c Frag. 383. 

279 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(398) odeiq rraoiv, ovk dv ooi Sokoltj Kivrjoeojs apxty xal 
rrdOovs air lav 1 rrapao-^lv ovoevl rcov ovrojv." 

9. Toiavra pev eycb npog rov Horjdov airatpi- 
vafxr]v t opoia 8e irepl rcov HtfivXXelojv. erjeih r q yap 
earrjLiev Kara rrjv rrerpav yevopevoi rrjv Kara ro 
fiovXevrrjpiov y e<£' rjs Xeyerai Kadi^eoQai ri\v irpoj- 
rrjv HlflvXAav €K rod 'EXlkojvos TrapayevoiLevrpf vtto 
rwv Movacov rpa<j>eZoav (evtot, 8e <f>aaiv €K MaAiecoy 2 
d(f)iK€G0ai AafJLtas ovoav Ovyarepa rrjg Uooet8a>- 
vos), 6 pev Tiapanlajv epLVi'joOr] row irrtov, ev oh 
vpLvqoev eavrr\v> ojs ov8* aTrodavovaa Xrj^ec pavrc- 
ktjs, dXX o.vrrf Liev ev rfj oeXrjvr) irepleioi ro /ca- 

D XovLievov (f>atvoLievov yevopevi] TTpooojirov, ra> o' 
depi ro rxveviLa ovyKpaOev ev (f>rjpais del (froprjoerat 
Kal i<Xr]o6oiv' €K 8e rod oojparos p,era/3aX6vros ev 
rfj yfj noas Kal vXt)s dva<f>vop,evr)$ , jSoa Kroner at rav- 
rrjv lepd Opepupara, ^poas" re Travrohairds to^ovra 
Kal pop<f)ds Kal rrotorrjras hrl rcov OTrXdyxvoJv a<f> 
c5j/ at 7TpoSr]Xa)0€is dvOpojTrois rov peXXovrog . 
'0 8e Hiojjdos en pidXXov rjv (f>avepos KarayeXd>v . 
Tov 8e £4vov elnovrog cos, el Kal ravra pvOois 
eoiKev, aAAa rals ye 4 Liavrclaig empaprvpovoi 
rroXXal Liev dvaordoeis Kal pberoiKtopol rroXeoov 
'EXArjvlSojv, 7ToXXal 8e fiapfiapiKtov or par ttov em- 

E <f>dveiai Kal avaipeoeis rjyepoi'LCov " ravrl 8e ra 

1 alriav Leonicus : car lav. 

2 ck MaXUwv Meineke (eVc MaAuuaw Clem. Alex. p. 358 
Potter) : els MaXewva, 

3 avTT) Reiske: avr-q. 

4 ye Reiske : re. 

280 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 398 

himself into everything and be merged with every- 
thing, could initiate movement or cause anything to 
happen to any existent object ! 

9. Such was my answer to Boethus, and in similar 
vein mention was made of the oracles of the Sibyl. 
For when wc halted as we reached a point opposite 
the rock which lies over against the council-chamber, 
upon which it is said that the first Sibyl a sat after her 
arrival from Helicon where she had been reared by 
the Muses (though others say that she came from the 
Malians and was the daughter of Lamia whose father 
was Poseidon), Sarapion recalled the verses in which 
she sang of herself : that even after death she shall 
not cease from prophesying, but that she shall go 
round and round in the moon, 6 becoming what is 
called the face that appears in the moon ; while her 
spirit, mingled with the air, shall be for ever borne 
onward in voices of presage and portent ; and since 
from her body, transformed within the earth, grass 
and herbage shall spring, on this shall pasture the 
creatures reared for the holy sacrifice, and they shall 
acquire all manner of colours and forms and qualities 
upon their inward parts, from which shall come for 
men prognostications of the future. 

Boethus even more plainly showed his derision. 

The foreign visitor remarked that even if these 
matters appear to be fables, yet the prophecies have 
witnesses to testify for them in the numerous desola- 
tions and migrations of Grecian cities, the numerous 
descents of barbarian hordes, and the overthrow of 
empires. " And these recent and unusual occur- 

Cf. Pausanias, x. 12. 1 and 5 ; and the scholium on 
Plato, Phaedrus, 244 u. 

6 Cf. Plutarch, Moralia, 566 d. 

281 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

77 poa<f>ara /cat vea rrdOrj irepiTe KvfjLrjv /cat At/catao- 
^etay 1 ovx vpvov\Leva rrdXai /cat aSd/xem Sta ru>v 
^LifSvXXetayv 6 xP° vo $ o^arrep 6<f>eiXo)v ajrohehajKev y 
eKp-q^eis TTVpos opeiov /cat Revets OaXaTTias, Kdl 
7T€Tpa>v /cat cfrAeyfjiovLov 2 vtto 7rvevp,aTo$ dvappiifstis , 
/cat (/>dopds rroXeajv dfia togovtojv /cat rrjAtKovrcov , 
cos /x€#' r\p,epav eireXdovow dyvoiav elvai /cat 
avd<f>eiav ottov KarcpKrjvro rfjs x c ^P a ^ ovyKtyv- 
jJLtvrjs; ravra yap el yeyove rnarevaai xaAe7rdV 
€(jtl, pjf\ tL ye irpoemeiv avev deionqrosJ' 

10. Kat o BoTjflo?, " tToiov yap," etnev, " <5 Sat- 
F fiovte, rfj <f>vcrei 7rd9og o xpo v °S ovk o<f>elXei; ri S' 
cart t&v aroTTayv /cat aTrpooSoKrjTOJv irepl yr\v fj 
OdXarrav rj 7r6Xeis r) avopas, 6 tls dv TTpoenrtbv ov 
tvxol yevo\ievov ; /catVot tovto ye o^cSoy ovSe 
TTpoenrelv eariv aAA enrelv, puaXXov oe pltfjai /cat 
hiaoireipai Xoyovg ovk exovTas ° L PXV V € ^ T ° d*~ 
Treipov ols TTXavajjJLevois aTTrjvTrjoe TroAAa/cts* rj rvx^] 
/cat ovveireoev auTOuara>9. oiafyepei yap ot/xat 
yeveaOai to prjdev r) prjdrjvat to yevrjaofjievov. 6 
yap ehrtbv t<x [jltj vrrdpxovTa Xoyos ev eavTto to 
7]piapTr]ixevov eyoyv ov St/cata)? aVa/xeVet tt)v c/c 
399 tov avTO/naTOV ttIgtlv ovo* aX-qOel TeKfir/pico xp^ Tai 
tov tipoemeiv emoTdfJievos ra> 3 fiera to elvreZv 
yevop*ev<jp* irdvTa ttjs aTreipias </>epovarjs' [jloXXov 5 

1 AiKcudpxeiav Bernardakis : oiKaiapxlav. 

2 Kal <f>\€yfiova)v] KaTa^Xcyojicvajv Strijd ; Kal <f>\oynu>v Wila- 
m owitz- M Ollendorff. 

3 ra> added by Wyttenbach. 

4 y€vofi€va> Wyttenbach : ycvoficvov. 

5 jLtaAAov Reiske : icaA . . 
282 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 398-399 

rences near Cumae and Dicaearcheia, a were they not 
recited long ago in the songs of the Sibyl ? and has 
not Time, as if in her debt, duly discharged the obliga- 
tion in the bursting forth of fires from the mountain, 
boiling seas, blazing rocks tossed aloft by the wind, 
and the destruction of such great and noble cities that 
those who came there by daylight felt ignorance and 
uncertainty as to where these had been situated, since 
the land was in such confusion ? Such things, if they 
have come to pass, it is hard to believe, to say nothing 
of foretelling them, without divine inspiration/' 

10. Thereupon Boethus said, " My good sir, what 
kind of an occurrence can there be that is not a debt 
owed by Time to Nature ? What is there strange and 
unexpected round about land or sea or cities or men 
which one might foretell and not find it come to pass ? 
Yet this is not precisely foretelling, but telling ; or 
rather it is a throwing and scattering of words without 
foundation into the infinite ; and oftentimes Chance 
encounters them in their wanderings and accidentally 
falls into accord with them. As a matter of fact, the 
coming to pass of something that has been told is a 
different matter, I think, from the telling of some- 
thing that will come to pass. For the pronouncement, 
telling of things non-existent, contains error in itself, 
and it is not equitable for it to await the confirmation 
that comes through accidental circumstances ; nor 
can it use as a true proof of having foretold with 
knowledge the fact that the thing came about after 
the telling thereof, since Infinity brings all things 
to pass. Much more is it true that the ' good 

° Cf. Moralia^ 566 e ; this is, of course, the famous erup- 
tion of Vesuvius in a.d. 79, which destroyed Pompeii and 
Herculaneum. Dicaearcheia is the Latin Puteoli (Pozzuoli). 

283 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(399) 8* 6 [lev ' elKal^tov KaAtos,' ov ' apiorov fidvTLv '' 
avrjyopevKev 7) Trapoijiia, I^vookottovvti /cat ort- 
fievovTi Std tcov evAoycov to /xe'AAov o/xotdsr eart. 
rc Zt/?uAAat 8' a£rat /cat Bd/ctSes cooTrep els ttovtov 
dreKfidprco^ els* rov xpovov KarifiaAov /cat hieoireipav 
cos ervx^ TravToSancov oVd/xara /cat prjpLara ttclOlov 
/cat GVfjbTTTCofjidTCDv, at? 2 ytyvofxevcov evicov diro tvx 7 }* 
ofioicos if/evSos tern to vvv Aeyopuevov, kcxv* voTepov 
txAr)des* el tvx oi > yevrjTai." 
B 11. TotauTa rod HorjOov SteAOovTos 6 ZapamW, 
" StKauaVg" ecf>rj, " to d^lco/jctx Trepl t&v ovtcos, cos 6 
Aeyei HorjOos, doplcFTCos /cat avvnoOeTtos Aeyop,evcov 

1 €C VLK7] GTpaTTjyCp 7TpoeLp7)TCU, VeVLKTjKeV,' ' el 

rroAecos dvaipecns, chroAojAev.' orrov 8* ov [xovov 
AeyeTcxi to yevrjoofxevov , dAAa /cat ttcos /cat ttotc /cat 
ftera rt /cat ft€Ta twos, ovk eaTiv eiKaop,os tcov 
Ta\a yevrjoofievcov dAAa tlov ttovtcos ioofievcov 
7Tpo8rjAcocns. /cat Taur' 6 eart^ ct? r^u 'Ay^aiAdou 
XLoAoTTjTa * 

cf>pd^eo S77, HiirdpTri, KaiTrep fjieydAavxos eovoa, 
p,rj oedev dpTiTroSos fSAdoTrj 1 x^V jSaoriAeia. 
8r)pov yap juloxOol oe /carao^aouatv doWrot, 
C cpdcoL^poTOV t iirl Kvjxa KvAivhop,evov 77oAe/xoto. 

1 ck added by F. E. Webb. 

2 ah F.C.B. ; €v oh Wyttenbach : oh. 

3 Kav Leonicus : icat. 4 ak-qdis Emperius : dXrjOays. 
5 d>s added by Xylander. 6 ravr] roiavr Xy lander. 

7 pXdaTT) Pausanias, iii. 8. 9, and one ms. of the Life of 
Agesilaus : pXajfirj. 

a The reference is to a much quoted line of Euripides 
which will be found in 432 c, infra : " bene qui coniciet, 
vatem hunc perhibeto optimum,** as Cicero translates it, 
Be Biv. ii. 5(12). See Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag., Euripides, 
no. 973; and Kock, Com. Att. Frag. iii. 65, Menander, no. 225. 
284 



THE OBACLES AT DELPHI, 399 

guesser,' whom the proverb lias proclaimed ' the best 
prophet,' a is like unto a man who searches the ground 
over, and tries to track the future by means of 
reasonable probabilities. 

" These prophets of the type of the Sibyl and Bacis 
toss forth and scatter into the gulf of time, as into the 
ocean depths with no chart to guide them, words and 
phrases at haphazard, which deal with events and occur- 
rences of all sorts ; and although some come to pass 
for them as the result of chance, what is said at the 
present time is equally a lie, even if later it becomes 
true in the event that such a thing docs happen. 

11. When Boethus had expounded these views, 
Sarapion said, " That is setting a fair valuation on 
things which are predicated, as Boethus affirms, so 
indefinitely and groundlessly. Granted that victory 
was foretold for a general : he is victorious ; or the 
destruction of a city : it is now overthrown. But where 
there is stated not only what shall come to pass, but 
also how and when and after what and attended by 
what, that is not a guess about what may perhaps 
come to pass, but a prognostication of things that 
shall surely be. These, for example, are the lines 
referring to the lameness of Agesilaus : b 

Sparta, take thought as thou must, although thou art 

haughty and boastful, 
Lest from thee, who art sturdy of foot, shall spring a 

lame kingship, 
Since for a long time to come shall troubles unlooked 

for engage thee. 
Likewise the onrush ing billow of war, bringing death to 

thy people. 

b Cf. Life of Agesilaus, chap. iii. (597 c) ; Life of Lysander, 
chap. xxii. (446 a) ; Pausanias, iii. 8. 9, where the four verses 
are repeated with very slight variation. 

285 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(399) Kal T(X 776/01 T7JS VrjaOV TTaXlV, fjV dviJK€V 7j TTpO 

Qtfpas Kal ©rjpaalas OdXarra, Kal rrepl rod <I>tA- 

L7T7TOV Kal 'PoJjJLaiOJV TToXefJLOV 1 ' 

aAA' 0770T6 Tpcoojv yeved KaOvirepOe yivvyrai 
Qoivlkojv iv dytovu, tot 9 eaaerat epya amora* 
ttovtos tiev Xdfiifjei nvp daiTCToVy €K 8e Kepavvoov 
TrprjOTfjpes fxev dvto Sid KVfiaTos di£ovat,v 
apLpuya avv itirp<f} rj 8e aTrjpl^eTai avTov 
ov <f>aTos avOpumois vrjaos* Kal ^eipoves dvSpes 
X^pvl PtrjadpievoL tov Kpeiaoova viKijaovcn. 

to yap iv oXiycp y^povip 'Pco/xatous" T€ Kapx^ovlwv 
D TrepLyeviadai KaTairoXepbTjaavTas ^AvvLfSav, Kal Oi'A- 
litttov AItojXols avjJL^aXovTa Kal c Pa>/xcuots' pax?] 
KpaTTjdijvai, Kal reAos" €/c fivOov vrjcrov dvaSvvat 
/xera irvpos rroXXov Kal kXvSojvos enL^eaavTos , ovk 
OiV €LTTOL ti$ cos dTTrjvTrjaev dfjua TravTa Kal ovv4tt€0€ 
KaTOL tvx?)v Kal 3 avTOjJLaTOJS , aAA* rj rants' ifJL(f)alvei 
ttjv rrpoyvcooiv Kai to ^Pcopbalois irpo iTcov 6(~iov tl 
TT€VTai<oaiojv Trpoenreiv tov x?^ vov > *- v <? irpos 
diravTa tgl edvrj TToXepL-qaocev afxa* tovto S' rjv to 
TToXefirjaai tols oLKeTacs drroaTaaiv \ iv tovtols yap 
ovhkv aTeKfiapTov ov8e tvc/)X6v 6V 4 aXXcos* re tvx^jv 
E ^rjTel 6 iv dircipLa* /cat 7 6 Xoyos aAAa 8 77oAAa ttjs 
TTelpas ivexvpa StScoai Kal heiKvvoi ttjv 686v fj 

1 tov . . . noXcfiov F.C.B. : tov . . . noXefiov. Others would 
omit Kal before irepl. 2 Trerpa] -nlrpats Reiske. 

3 fvxqv Kal Stegmann : Tvyy\v* 

4 ov added by F.C.B. 5 dAAcos F.C.B. : dfi<f>l 

6 t,r]T€l in one ms. only : t^retv. 

7 Kal added by F.C.B. 

8 aAAa F.C.B. (suggested by Bernard akis) : dAAd. 

a Cf. Strabo, i. 3. 16 ; Justin, xxx. 4. 1. 
286 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 399 

And then again these lines about the island which the 
sea cast up in front of Thera and Therasia, a and also 
about the war of Philip and the Romans : 

But when the offspring of Trojans shall come to be in 

ascendant 
Over Phoenicians in conflict, events shall be then 

beyond credence ; 
Ocean shall blaze with an infinite fire, and with rattling 

of thunder 
Scorching blasts through the turbulent waters shall 

upward be driven ; 
With them a rock, and the rock shall remain firm fixed 

in the ocean, 
Making an island by mortals unnamed ; and men who 

are weaker 
Shall by the might of their arms be able to vanquish 

the stronger. 

The fact is that these events, all occurring within 
a short space of time — the Romans' prevailing over 
the Carthaginians by overcoming Hannibal in war, 
Philip's coming into conflict with the Aetolians and 
being overpowered by the Romans in battle, and 
finally an island's rising out of the deep accompanied 
by much fire and boiling surge — no one could say that 
they all met together at the same time and coincided 
by chance in an accidental way ; no, their order 
makes manifest their prognostication, and so also 
does the foretelling to the Romans, some five hundred 
years beforehand, of the time when they should be at 
war with all the nations of the world at once : this 
was their war with their slaves, who had rebelled. In 
all this, then, there is nothing unindicated or blind 
which is helplessly seeking to meet chance in infinity b ; 
and reason gives many other trustworthy assurances re- 
garding experience, and indicates the road along which 
b Cf. 398 f, supra. 

287 



PLUTARCH'S MORALLY 

paSl^€t TO 7T€7TpC0jX€VOV» OV yap OLjJLOA TLV* ip€LV 

on jiera tovtcov cos TrpoeppyjOr] 1 ovviiTeae Kara 

TVX7JV €7T€L TL KCoXv€L XeyeiV €T€pOV, COS OVK lypaiff€ 

ras Kvpias rjiJLiv 'Em'/coupo?, cS BoTjfle, A6£as, dXX* 
airo TV"xr)s Kai avTOjidrcos ovtco irpos aXXrjXa tcov 
ypapLfxaTCov avvepLrreaovTCov , aTrereXeaOr] to jSi- 
fSXlov; " 

12. "A/za §€ tovtcov Xeyopudvcov TTpor\eip,ev. iv 

F 8e tco Kopivdlcov 2 olkco tov (f>oiviKa decofxivois tov 

XoXkovv, oairep en Xoittos ioTi tcov dvaOrjjjidTcov, ol 

7T€pl TrjV pl^av €VT€TOp€VjJL€VOL fi&TpaXOl KOL vSpot 

Oavfia tco Aioyevcavco irapeixov, dfieXei Se Kal r)plv. 
ovt€ ydp <f>oivi£, cos ZTepa hivSpa, XtpLvatov iaTi 
Kal (f>iXvhpov (j>vr6v, ovt€ KoptvOiois tl fiaTpaxot 
TTpoarjKovGiv y coots avfjL^oXov tj Trapdaripiov elvai 

T7]S TToXeCOS' COOTTtp dfliXet YueXlVOVVTlOl 7TOT6 XP v ~ 

govv gIXivov dvadelvac Xiyovrai, Kal Teviotoc tov 
7re'AcKW drro tcov KapKivcov tcov yiyvo(x£vcov irtpl 
400 to KaXovfxevov 'Acrrepiov Trap* avrols' (jlovoi yap 
cos eoLKev iv tco x € Xcovlco tvttov rreXeKecos exovcrt, 
Kal fjbrjv avTcp ye tco Oeco KopaKas Kal kvkvovs 
Kal Xvkovs Kal lepaKas Kal iravra puaXXov 77 TavT 
etvai 7rpoa(f)iXrj ra Orjpla vopuXofiev ." 

T&Ittovtos 8e tov YiapairLcovos, otl ttjv i£ vypcov 
fjvi^aTO Tpo(f>r]v tov 'qXiov Kal ylveaiv Kal dva- 
dvp,LaGiv 6 S-qpuLovpyos, cffi 'Ofirfpov XiyovTos 
aKrjKocbs 

1 TTpocpprjOr] Aldine ed. : npoeppcOrj. 

2 KopivOuav Meziriacus : KopivQlu). 

a Of. Uscner, Epicurea, p. 342. 

288 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 399-400 

a destined event travels. For I do not think that any- 
body will say that by chance it coincides in time with 
those things with which it was foretold that it should be 
attended. If that were so, what is to hinder someone 
else from declaring that Epicurus did not write his 
Leading Principles* 1 for us,Boethus, but that, by chance 
and accidentally, the letters fell in with one another 
as they now stand, and the book was completed ? " 

]2. During 1 this conversation we were moving for- 
es o 

ward. While we were looking at the bronze palm-tree 
in the treasure-house of the Corinthians, the only one 
of their votive offerings that is still left, the frogs b and 
water-snakes, wrought in metal about its base, caused 
much wonder to Diogenianus, and naturally to our- 
selves as well. For the palm does not, like many other 
trees, grow in marshes, or love water ; nor do frogs 
bear any relation to the people of Corinth so as to be 
a symbol or emblem of their city, even as, you know, 
the people of Selinus are said to have dedicated a 
golden celery plant, c and the people of Tenedos the 
axe, derived from the crabs which are found on the 
island in the neighbourhood of Asterium, as the place 
is called. For these, apparently, are the only crabs 
that have the figure of an axe on the shell. Yet, in 
fact, we believe that to the god himself ravens and 
swans and wolves and hawks, or anything else rather 
than these creatures, are pleasing. 

Sarapion remarked that the artisan had represented 
allegorically the nurture and birth and exhalation of 
the sun from moisture, whether he had read what 
Homer a says, 

6 C/. Moralia. 164 a. 

* Selinon (celery), from which the citv derives its name. 

d Od. iii. 1. 

289 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(400) rjeXtos 8' dnopovae 1 Xmajv neptKaXXea Xi/jLvqv 

€xr AlyvnTiovs €o>pa/ca>s cos 8 dpxty* dvaroArJs 
waihiov veoyvov ypd<f>ovras eVt Xootco tcade^opbevov, 
J} ytXdoas eyco, " ttov au rrdXiv" ttrrov, " c5 XP 7 ?" 
ore, t^v Stocxv bevpl irapwQeis koX V7rof5dXAeLS 
drpefia rep Xoyco rds dvdifjecg /cat dvadvpudaeis, oi>x 
UiOTTep at QerraXal Kardywv* rrjv aeXrjvr^v /cat tov 
tjXlov <hs ivrevOev drro yrjs /cat vhdrcov fiXaordvov- 
ras /cat dpxopLevovs 6 ; 6 fxev yap HXdrcov /cat tov 
dvOpconov ovpdviov <hv6jjL<i<J€ </>vt6v, cocrnep e/c pttftS 
dva) rrjs K€(j)aXfjs opdovfievov u/xet? Sc tov fxev 
'Ep/jreSo/cAeou? /carayeAare <f>doKovTO$ tov tJXlov 
7T€pl ttjv yrjv* aVa/cAacxct (frajTos ovpaviov yevo/xevov 
addis 

dvTavyecv rrpos oXvpLirov aVap/J^Totcrt 7 7rpo<rco- 

7TOLS' 

C avTol 8e yrjyeves ^cpov rj <f>VTOv eXeiov dTro<f>aiv€Te 
tov rjXiov, €t? j8ar/oa^a>v 7rarptSa rj v8pa)v eyypd- 

<f>OVT€S. dXXd TCLVTa fJL€V €LS TTJV ^iTCOCKTJV dvadej- 

/xe#a TpaycpStav, tcl 8e tcov x €C P or€ X v< ^ l/ ndpepya 
7Tapepya>9 i£€Tdoa>p,€v. iv noXXois yap etat /co/x- 
ipol, to 8e ifsvxpov ov navTaxov /cat irepUpyov €K- 
TT€<j>evyaaw . djanep ovv 6 tov dXeKTpvova Trovqaas 

1 aaropovoe] dvopovae Homer. 

2 As added by F.C.B. 

3 apxrjv Leonicus ; dpxrjs KovpfSoXov koX> Pohlenz: apxys* 

4 Kardycjv] Reiske would add aAA* dvdyaiv. 

5 dpxofAcvovs] aphopLtvovs Wyttenbach. 

* 7T€pl r-qv yijv F.C.B. (ircpiavyrj Wyttenbach) : ncpl yrjv. 

7 drapP^TOLai Wyttenbach : drapp^rois. 

° Cf. 355 b, supra. 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 400 

Swiftly away moved the Sun, forsaking the beautiful waters, 

or whether he had observed that the Egyptians, to 
show the beginning of sunrise, paint a very young 
baby sitting on a lotus flower. a I laughed and said, 
" Where now, my good friend ? Are you again 
slyly thrusting in your Stoicism here and unostenta- 
tiously slipping into the discussion their ' kindlings ' 
and ' exhalations,* b not indeed bringing down the 
moon and the sun, as the Thessalian women do, c 
but assuming that they spring up here from earth 
and water and derive their origin from here ? For 
Plato d called man also ' a celestial plant/ as though he 
were held upright from his head above as from a root. 
But you Stoics ridicule Empedocles e for his assertion 
that the sun, created by the reflection of celestial 
light, about the earth, 

Back to the heavens again sends his beams with countenance 
fearless. 

And you yourselves declare the sun to be an earth-born 
creature or a water-plant, assigning him to the king- 
dom of the frogs or water-snakes. But let us refer all 
this to the heroics of the Stoic school, and let us 
make a cursory examination of the cursory work of 
the artisans. In many instances they indeed show 
elegance and refinement, but they have not in all 
cases avoided frigidity and over-elaboration. Just 
as the man who constructed the cock upon the hand 

b Von Arnim, Stoicorum Veterum Fragmenta, ii. 652-656 
(p. 196). 

c Cf Aristophanes, Clouds, 749 ; Plato, Gorgias, 513 a ; 
Horace, Epodes* 5. 46 ; Propertius, i. 1. 19, and especially 
Lucan, vi. 438-506 ; cf. also 416 r infra, 

d Plato, Timaeus, 90 a ; cf. Moralia, 600 f. 

e Cf Diels, Frag, der Vorsokratiker, i. p. 213, Empedocles, 
no. b 44 ; cf also Moralia, 890 b. 

291 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(400) €771 T7JS X €L P°S T °V 'A7ToAAa)VOS eCodlVTjV VTTehrj* 

Aouoev a>pav /cat Kaipov eTTiovorrjs avaroXrjs, oxircog 
ivravOa rovs fiarpaxovs iaptvijs a>pas (jyairj ris av 
yeyovevai crvpufioAov ev fj Kparelv apx^rai rod depos 

D 6 tjXios /cat rov ^et/xcDra StaAuety, el ye Set kclO* 
vfxas rov 'AnoAAojva /cat rov tjXlov /jltj 8vo Oeovs 
aAA eva vopal^eiv. 

Kat 6 Zapa77toji>, " ov yap/' eiirev, " ox>x ovrto 
vopLi^eis, aAA* otei rov rjAiov Sta^epetv rov 'AttoA- 
Aojvos;" 

tjyajy , enrov , ojs rov rjAiov rrjv aeArjvr^v 
aAA' avrrf /zeV ov tto AAa/cts ovSe irdoLv aTTOKpvTvrei 
rov tjAlov, o S rjAcos ojjlov tl rrdvras dyvoetv rov 
* AnoAXajva 7T€7tol7}K€v aTroorpe<f>wv rfj alaOrjaec rrjv 
Sidvoiav o\tt6 rod ovros eirl ro <f>aiv6p,evov." 

13. 'E/c rovrov rovs 7repirjy7]rds 6 Hapairlajv 
yjpero ri St) rov oIkov ov Kvi/jeAov 3 rov avadevros 
aAAa Kopivdlojv ovopbd^ovacv. dnopia S' air las, ipiol 

E yovv So/cet/ oiamojvrojv eKelvojv, emyeAdcras eya), 
" ri he," etirov, "en rovrovs olopueda yiyvcooKeiv 
7} pwr)povevew eKTrenAr^ypievovg rravrdiraoiv , vpucov 
fierecopoAeaxovvrcov ; eirel rrporepov y avrwv 
rjKovopiev Aeyovrojv ore rijg rvpavvioos KaraAv- 
6eiar]£ efiovAovro KoptV#tot /cat rov ev lit 077 xpvaodv 
dvSpidvra /cat rov evravda rovrovl Orjaavpov eVt- 
ypdipCLL rrjs iroAeojs. AeA<f>ol puev ovv eSoaav oj$ 
St/catov, /cat ovvex^pr\aav , 'HAelovs oe <j>6ovqcravras 
eifj7]cf)Laavro purj p,ereyew 'IvOfiicw' 56ev ovSels e£ 

1 eiirov Xylander: etnev. 2 avrrj Reiske: avrrj. 

3 KvipcXov Xylander: rcviftcXAov. 

4 c5? ifiol yovv cSoKd Reiske. 

° Gf. the note on 386 b, supra. 
292 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, LOO 

of Apollo's statue showed by suggestion the early 
morning and the hour of approaching sunrise, so here, 
one might aver, has been produced in the frogs a 
token of springtime when the sun begins to dominate 
the atmosphere and to break up the winter ; that is, 
if, as you say, we must think of Apollo and the Sun, 
not as two gods, but as one." 

" Really,' ' said Sai'apion, " do you not think so, 
and do you imagine that the sun is different from 
Apollo ? " ° 

" Yes," said I, " as different as the moon from the 
sun ; but the moon does not often conceal the sun, 
nor conceal it from the eyes of all, 6 but the sun has 
caused all to be quite ignorant of Apollo by diverting 
the faculty of thought through the faculty of percep- 
tion from what is to what appears to be." 

13. Following this, Sarapion asked the guides 
why it is that they call the treasure-house, not the 
house of Cypselus the donor, but the house of the 
Corinthians. When they were silent, as I think, for 
lack of any reason to give, I laughed and said, " What 
knowledge or memory do we imagine these men have 
still remaining, when they are utterly dumbfounded 
by your high-flown talk ? As a matter of fact, we 
heard them say earlier that when the despotism was 
overthrown, the Corinthians wished to inscribe both 
the golden statue at Olympia and the treasure-house 
here with the name of their city, and the people of 
Delphi accordingly granted this as being a fair re- 
quest, and gave their consent ; but the Eleans refused 
out of ill-will, and the Corinthians voted that the 
Eleans should not be allowed to take part in the 
Isthmian Games. Consequently, from that time on 
» Cf. Moralia, 932 b. 

293 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

€K€Liov yeyovtv 'IcrSfxlajv aycoviGTrjs 'HAeios 1 . o Se 
MoXiovi8a>v <f>6vos v<j)' 'Hpa/cAeous 1 7T€pl KActovd? 
F ovSev earn, fjLeratTios, cos evtoi vofxi^ovaw , 'HXelois 
tov zipytodai' Tovvavrlov yap r\v avrols TrpoarJKOv 
etpyew, elSia tovto K.opw6iois TTpO(J€K€KpOVK€<jaV." 
iyco fxev ovv tolvt elnov, 

14. 'Ettci Se tov * AkovBlcov Kal Bpaat'Sou irap- 
eAflouatv oikov rjpuv e'Sei^ev o 7T€piy]y7)rr]s x^P^* 
€v co 'PoSaWuSos 1 €K€cvto ttot€ rrjs iraipas ofteAi- 
(jkol ai8r)poX, Svaxepdvas 6 Aioyevtavos, " tjv apa 
rrjs avrfjs," ecfrr), " noXecos 'PoSaimSt /xev x^pc-v 
7rapa(JX € w> o7Tov tcls Sc/caras' <f>ipovaa KaraOrjaerat 
401 ra>i> jjLLoOtov, Alcfcottov 8' aVoAeaat roV d/xoSouAov 
auras' ." 

ftai o Zjapamcov tl be ravra, c<pT], fiaKapie, 

Sv(7X^pCLLV€LS ; €K€L fiXeijjOV aVCO Kdi T7JV XP V(J V V * V 

rols crTparrjyoZs Kal PaatXevai deaaai M.vr)oap€Trjv , 
rjv KpaT7)$ €?7T€ rfjs tcov '^XXrjvcov aKpaoias aVa- 
Keiadai rpoTraiov." 

'l$<hv ovv 6 veavias, " €tra 7T€pl Opunjff," €</>?], 
" tovt rjv elpr)fjL€vov rtp KpdrrjTi; " 

" Nat/' €i7T€v 6 HapaTrlcov " Mvrjaaperr) ydp 
iKaXecro, rrjv Se Qpvvrjv emVATycriv eo^e Sia tt)i> 

WXpOTTjTa. 7ToAA(X 8' CO? €OtfC6 TOW OVOfJbdrOJV CL7TO' 

KpvTTTOvaiv at 7rapcovvp,iai. rrjv yovv > AXe^dv8pov 

B firjrepa HoXvgevrjv elra MvprdXrjv *QXvpi7nd8a re 

Kal jLtTparoviKrjv KXrjdrjvat Xiyovcrr ttjv Se 'PoStW 1 

1 ToSt'op] KopwOiav in B is preferred by some editors. 



tt C/". Apollodorus, Bibliotheca, ii. 7. 2. 
6 Cf. Herodotus, ii. 134-135. 

294 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 400-401 

there has been no competition from Elis at these 
games. The slaying of the Molionidae by Heracles 
near Cleonae a is not, as some think, a cause 
contributing in any way to the exclusion of the 
Eleans. On the contrary, it would have been appro- 
priate for them to exclude the Corinthians, if they 
had taken offence against them for this reason." 
That was all I said. 

14. When we had passed the house of the 
Acanthians and Brasidas, the guide pointed out to us 
the site where iron spits of Rhodopis the courtesan 
were once placed, b at which Diogenianus indignantly 
said, " So, then, it was the province of the same State 
to provide Rhodopis with a place where she might 
bring and deposit the tithes of her earnings, and also 
to put to death Aesop, c her fellow-slave.* ' 

' Why/' said Sarapion, " are you indignant over 
this, my good sir ? Look up there and behold among 
the generals and kings Mnesarete wrought in gold, 
who, as Crates said, stands as a trophy to the licen- 
tiousness of the Greeks/ ' d 

The young man accordingly looked at it and 
remarked, ' Then it was about Phryne that this 
statement was made by Crates ? " 

" Yes," said Sarapion, " she was called Mnesarete, 
but she got the nickname of Phryne e because of her 
sallow complexion. In many instances, apparently, 
nicknames cause the real names to be obscured. For 
example, Polyxena, the mother of Alexander, they say 
was later called Myrtal& and Olympias and Stratonice. 

e Cf. Moralia, 556 f. 

d Ibid, 336 c, Athenaeus, 591 b ; cf. also Pauly-Wissowa, 
Real-Encyklopaedie, Supplement V, pp. 87-88. 
• " Toad." 

295 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(401) HiVjjbrjTLv dxP 1 v ^ v KXeofSovXLvrjv Trarpodev oi nXti- 
otol KaXovGiv ' H pocf>iXy)v §€ rrjv 'EpvOpalav fACtV- 
riKrjv yevojAtvqv StjSuAAav tt poorly 6 p^vaav . rcov Se 
ypappariKWv aKovcrr) /cat r^y A^Sap* Mv^atyorp, /cat 
roy 'Opiorrjv 'A^ato^ . . .* wvopdadat (fraoKovrojv. 
aAAa 7rtb$, efirj, Scavofj ov (pXei/sas rrpog rov Secova) 
rovrl StaAuaat to nepl O/OW779 atrta/xa; " 

15. VLdtcetvos t h< JV XTl Sta/xetStaaas, " ovrtos," 

€L7T€V t " 0)(JT€ 2 /Cat CTOt 7Tp0O€yKaXf.LV TCt fJLtKpOTaTOL 

C fcoy 'EAA^vt/cah' irXr]ppeXr]pdTa)v iXeyxovrt. kclQ- 
dirtp yap 6 Ha)Kpdr7)s ioTLco^uvos 3 eV KaAAtou ra> 
fMvpa) 7roA£/X€t 4 \jl6vqv y dp^cret? Se iraioajv /cat /cu- 
fiiaTrjaeis /cat ^iXrjpara /cat yeXcoroTroiovs optbv 
apteral, /cat cru /xot So/cet? OfXOLCog yvvatov etpyetv 
rov lepov xPV G( ^l JL€VOV ^P a vwfJLaros ovk £Xev- 
Oeplws, (f)6va>v Se /cat iroXtpujv /cat Ae^Aac/tcov d/77- 
apxals /cat Sc/carats* /ct'/cAa) irepLexdpevov rov deov 
opcov /cat tw *>ecoy a/cuAa>y 'EAA^vt/ccov aVa77Aea>*> 5 
/cat Xa<f>vpa)v ov Sua^epatVct?, ot)S ot/crt'pcts tovs 
"EXArjvas €7rl ro)v tcaXwv dvaO^qfxdrcov alG\iaras 

D dvayiyvwoKcov cmypa^as 1 / Bpaat'Sas' /cat 'A/cdV#tot 
aTr' ' A6r)vata)V ,' /cat ' ^Adrjvatoi drro KapwOtcw,' 
/cat ' Oa>/cets a7ro ©eaaaAaJv/ ' 'Opyearat S' a7r6 

HlKVWVICJV ,' ' ' Ap,(f)LKTVOV€S 8' a7TO (^(x)K€U)V. > dAA(Z 

TlpcUjiTcXrjs, cos €ot/c€, povog rjviaoe Kpar^ra t^ 
£pa>p,€vr) rvxtbv avroOi Saiped?, 6 ov €7TaiV€tv axfreiXe 

1 A lacuna in the mss. here probably contained another 
example. 

2 cuotc Reiske : to? ye. 

3 €OTicbfi€vos Reiske : aiVico/xcvos. 

4 7roA€^€t Reiske : 7toA€/a€u\ 

5 dva7rA«ov Reiske : dyd7rAe<o. 

6 Su)p€<is] x<*>P a s Emperius (c/. 400 f). 
296 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 401 

Eumetis of Rhodes most people eall, even to this day, 
Cleobulina a from her father ; and Herophile of 
Ery thrae, who had the gift of prophecy, they addressed 
as Sibyl. You will hear the grammarians assert that 
Leda was named Mnesinoe and Orestes Achaeus. . . . 
But how/' said he, with a look at Theon," do you think 
to demolish this charge of guilt against Phryne ? " 

15. Theon, with a quiet smile, said, " In such a way 
as to lodge complaint against you as well for bringing 
up the most trifling of the peccadilloes of the Greeks. 
For just as Socrates, while being entertained at 
Callias's house, shows hostility toward perfume only, b 
but looks on with tolerance at children's dancing, and 
at tumbling, kissing/ and buffoons e ; so you also 
seem to me, in a similar way, to be excluding from 
this shrine a poor weak woman who put the beauty of 
her person to a base use, but when you see the god 
completely surrounded by choice offerings and tithes 
from murders, wars, and plunderings, and his temple 
crowded with spoils and booty from the Greeks, you 
show no indignation, nor do you feel any pity for the 
Greeks when upon the beautiful votive offerings you 
read the most disgraceful inscriptions : " Brasidas 
and the Acanthians from the Athenians," and " The 
Athenians from the Corinthians," and " The Phocians 
from the Thessalians," and " The Orneatans from 
the Sicyonians," and " The Amphictyons from 
the Phocians/' But Praxiteles, apparently, was the 
only one that caused annoyance to Crates by gain- 
ing for his beloved the privilege of a dedication 
here, whereas Crates ought to have commended 

° Cf. Moral ia, 148 d. 
b Xenophon, Symposium, 2. 3. 
J bid. 2. 11. d Ibid. 9. 5. • Ibid. 2. 22. 

297 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(401) Kpdrrjs, ore rots xpvaols fiaaiXevai rovrois rrap- 
earrrjae xpwrjv eraipav, e£ovei&i%ojv rov irXovrov d>s 
ov8ev exovra Oavfidatov ov8e aejivov. hiKaioovvrjs 
yap av 1 dvaOf^fiara /cat o-axf>poovvrjs /cat jaeyaAo- 
voias koXojs €?\;e 2 rideudat rrapd rep dea> rovs 
fiaoiXeis /cat rovs dpxovras, ov xpvorjs /cat rpv- 
<f>a>ar]s evrropias rjs /xcreart /cat rots' atcr^tora 

E fiefiiCDKoaw." 

16. " 'E/cet^o S ov Xeyecs," ^Irrev drepos ru>v 
Trepirjyrjrajv, " on K/ootao? evravda /cat rrjs dpro- 
TTotov 3 xpvafjv eiKova Troirjodfievos dveQr)Ke." 

Kat 6 Qeojv, " val," ec^rj* " rrXr)v ovk evrpv(f>a>v rto 
lepa>, KaXrjv Se Xafiwv alriav /cat St/catay. Xeyerai 
yap 'AAvdrrrjv rov irarepa rov Kpotaou hevrepav 
dyayeadat ywat/ca /cat TratSas" erepovs rpe<f>eiv 
emfSovXevovoav ovv ra> K/ootaa> rrjv avQpomov 
(f>dpfj,aKov hovvav rfj apro7rota), s /cat KeXevoai Sta- 
TrAaaacrav dprov i£ avrov rep K/>otaa> rrapahovvaf 
rrjv S* dprorroiov 3 Kpv<f>a rip Kpoioa) (f)pdoac, Trapa- 
detvat oe rols eKeivrjs 7ratcrt rov aprov. dvd > <bv j3a- 

F oiXevoavra rov Kpotaov olov errl pbdprvpi ra> deep 
rrjv \dpiv dp,el\ffaaOai rrjs yvvaiKos, ev ye iroiovvr 
cKeuvov. ouev > elirev, agiov Or) Kat rojv rroAeojv et 
Tt roiovrov eorw dvdQr\\xa rt/zaV /cat dyaTrav, 5 olov 
ro *07Tovvria)V. eirel yap ol Oa>/C€an> rvpavvoi 7roAAa 
rcov XP V<J <*> V KaL dpyvpcjv dvadrjpdrojv ovyxeavres 
eKoiftav vopLLGfia /cat hieaireipav els rds noXets, 

1 av added by F.C.B. 2 cf*€ F.C.B. : 1^. 

3 dproTToiov, etc., corrected by Leonicus and others: aproirov. 

4 Kat o 0eW, " wu'," «#*?» added by Paton and others to fill 
a lacuna in the mss. 

5 ayairav Stcgmann : ayav* 
298 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 401 

him because beside these golden kings he placed a 
golden courtesan, thus rebuking wealth for possess- 
ing nothing to be admired or revered. For it would 
be well for kings and rulers to dedicate votive 
offerings to commemorate justice, self-control, and 
magnanimity, not golden and luxurious affluence, 
which is shared also by men who have led the most 
disgraceful lives.' ' 

16. " There is one thing that you omit to mention/ ' 
said one of the guides, " that Croesus had a golden 
statue made of the woman who baked his bread, and 
dedicated it here." 

" Yes," said Theon, " only he did it not in mockery 
of the holy shrine, but because he found an honour- 
able and righteous cause for so doing. For it is said 
that Alyattes, the father of Croesus, married a second 
wife, and was rearing a second group of children. So 
the woman, in a plot against Croesus, gave poison 
to the baker and bade her knead it into the bread 
and serve it to Croesus. But the baker secretly told 
Croesus and served the bread to the stepmother's 
children ; in return for this action Croesus, when he 
became king, as it were in the sight of the god as a 
witness, requited the favour done by the woman and 
also conferred a benefit upon the god. Wherefore," 
he continued, " it is right and proper, if there is any 
similar votive offering from States, to honour and 
respect it, as, for example, that of the Opuntians. For, 
when the despots of the Phocians melted up many 
of the votive offerings made of gold or silver, 5 and 
minted coins and put them into circulation among the 

a Cf. Herodotus, i. 51. 

* Cf. Miiller, Frag. Hist. Graec. i. p. 308, Theopompus, 
no. 182. 

299 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

'Ottovvtioi avvayayovres oaov dpyvptov 1 evpov 2 
vSpiav* ave7T€fJufjav ivOdSe rco Oeto /cat Kadieptooav. 
iyco 8e /cat Mvpivatovs* erraivco /cat 'ATToAAamdras 
402 deprj ^pvoa oevpo TrepujjavTas- en Se fxaXAov 'E/>€- 
rpiels /cat Mayv^ras', dvOpcoTrow an appals oooprjcra- 
pi€vovs tov Oeov, cog Kapncov horrjpa /cat Trarpojov 
/cat yeveawv /cat <f>iXdvdpcoTTov' atrtco/zat Se Meya- 
pets", on jjLovoi o^ehov evravda Xoyxrjv e\ovra tov 
Bebv earrjaav and ri}? pidxr}?, rjv ' AOrjvaiovs fAera, 
ra TlepcriKa ttjv ttoXiv e^ovra? aifTcov vLKijoavTes 
i^efiaXov. vortpov \xivroi nXrJKTpov dveOrjKav too 
Oeto xpvaovv £7TiaTrjaavT€$ , cos cot/ce, Z/ci>#tVa> 
XeyovTt, 7T€pl Trjs Xvpas, 

rjv dp/zd^erat 
Xrjvog evethrjs 'AnoXXcov, tt&oolv apxty *oX tIXos 
B vvXXaficbv e^et 8e Xap,7Tp6v TrXiJKTpov rjXiov 
cpaos. 

17. 'Et7rifidXAovTOS Se tov *Lapa7TLOJVos cliTeiv ti 

7T€pi TOVTCOV, O $€VOS, TjOV jJL€V, €([>r) , TO TOLOV' 

toov d/cpoaaflat Xoycov, ipuol 8' dvayKalov cart ttjv 
TrpcoTrjv VTTooyzow dnaiTijoai Trepl ttjs atYta?, rj 
TreVau/ce ttjv YlvOiav iv errzoi /cat /xerpot? dXXocs 
OtOTTktovoav coot , et So/cet, ra XeiTTopueva ttjs 
0eas V7T€p0€pi€voi 7T€pl tovtcov aKovcrcofiev ivTavOa 
KadlcravTes. o5tos yap ivTtv 6 /xdAtara Trpds ttjv 

1 dpyvpiov an early correction : apyvptov* 

2 edpov added by F.C.B. 

3 vhpiav Reiske: vhplov. 

4 Mvptvaiovs Reiske : iivplvas* 

a Of, von Arnim, Stoicorum Veterum Fraqmenta, i. 502 
(p. 112). 
300 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 401-402 

various States, the Opuntians, collecting what money 
they could find, sent back here a water-jar for the god, 
and consecrated it to him. For my part, I commend 
also the inhabitants of Myrina and of Apollonia for 
sending to this place fruits of the harvest fashioned of 
gold ; and still more the inhabitants of Eretria and 
Magnesia who presented the god with the first- fruits 
of their people, in the belief that he is the giver of 
crops, the god of their fathers, the author of their 
being, and the friend of man. And I blame the 
Megarians because they are almost the only people 
who erected here a statue of the god with spear 
in hand to commemorate the battle in which they 
defeated and drove out the Athenians, who were in 
possession of their city in the period following the 
Persian Wars. Later, however, they dedicated to 
the god a golden plectrum, a calling attention, appar- 
ently, to Scythinus, 5 who says regarding the lyre, 

Which the son of Zeus, 
Fair Apollo, who embraces origin and end in one, 
Sets in tune, and for his plectrum has the bright raj'S of 
the sun." 

17. As Sarapion was beginning to say something 
about these matters, the foreign visitor said, " It is 
very pleasant to listen to such conversation as this, 
but I am constrained to claim the fulfilment of your 
first promise regarding the cause which has made the 
prophetic priestess cease to give her oracles in epic 
verse or in other metres. So, if it be agreeable, let 
us postpone to another time what remains of our 
sightseeing, and sit down here and hear about it. 
For it is the recital of this fact which above all else 

b Diels, Poetarum Phil. Frag. p. 167 ; cf. Clement of 
Alexandria, Stromateis> v. 8. 48 (p. 674 Potter). 

301 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(402) rod \pr\ary\plov mcrrtv avrifialvcov \6yos, cos hvdtv 
ddrepov, rj rrjs Tlvdias rep ^copto) fjurj TreXa^ovcrrjs 
ev a> to Betov eoriv, r) rov nvevfiaros Travrdiraaiv 
C aireofieoixevov /cat rrjs hvvdjxecos iKXeXoLTrvlas." 
TlepieXOovres ovv im rcov fjLearjfjippcvcov kclOv 
e£o/xe#a KprjTTihoov rov 1 veco npos to rrjs Trjs Upo- 
ro 6 vScop d7^ojSA€7^o^T€s , • coot* evdvs elrrelv rov 

BoTjdoV, OIL KOI 6 T07TOS TTJS 0L7TOptaS OVV€7TcXaLlf3d" 

vercLL rep £evop. " Nlovcrcov yap r)v Upov evravda 
7T€pl rr)v dva7TVor)v rov vdfiaros, S6ev e^p^ovro rrpos 
T€ ras Xoifids kclI rds X€ppij3a$* rep vhan, rovrcp, 
cos (frrjcri HifjbcoviS'qs 

€vda x € P v ^ €GGLV dpverai* ro l Movodv 
KaXXiKopLcov vnevepdev dyvov vhoop. 

fjLLKpco Se 7T€pL€pyoT€pov aufli? 6 HifJLcoviSrjs rr)v 
KXecco TTpooenrcov 

D dyvdv €7Tioko7tov xepvtficov, 

7toXvXigtov dpvovreocnv 5 
dxpvcr67T€7rXov 6 * * * 7 
evcoSes d/JLppocricov €K \xvyG>v 
ipavov* liScop AajSct^. 9 

1 tov added by Emperius. 

2 /cat ras x*'/>vtj3as added by Reiske from the verses below. 

3 dpv€Tai Turnebus : clpverau 

4 to Bergk: re. 

5 dpvovreaaiv Emperius : dpaiov ri iartv. 

6 dxpvaoTTCTrXov] at ^pvooTTtirXov some editors. 

7 A short lacuna in the mss. 

8 ipavov] epawov Emperius. 

9 Xapeiv F.C.B. ; Xdpois Crusius ; Mpa Paton and others: 
Xapov. 

302 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 402 

militates against confidence in the oracle, since 
people assume one of two things : either that the 
prophetic priestess does not come near to the region 
in which is the godhead, or else that the spirit has 
been completely quenched and her powers have for- 
saken her." 

Accordingly we went round and seated ourselves 
upon the southern steps of the temple, looking 
towards the shrine of Earth and the stream of water, 
with the result that Boethus immediately remarked 
that the place itself proffered assistance to the visitor 
in the solution of the question. " For," said he, 
" there used to be a shrine of the Muses near the 
place where the water of the stream wells up ; 
wherefore they used to use this water for libations 
and lustrations, as Simonides a says : 

Where from depths below, for pure lustration 

Is drawn the fair-haired Muses' fount of holy water. 

And in another passage he addresses Clio in a some- 
what affected way as the 

Holy guardian of lustration, 

and goes on to say that 

She, invoked in many a prayer, 
In robes unwrought with gold, 
For those that came to draw 
Raised from the ambrosial grot 
The fragrant beauteous water. 

• Bergk, Poet. Lyr. Graec. iii. pp. 409-410, Simonides, 
nos. 44 and 45; or Edmonds, Lyra Graeca, ii. p. 314. Cf. 
also Poulsen, Delphi, 4 ; but the attempted restorations of 
the verses by the various editors do not as yet display any 
felicity. 

303 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(402) ovk opOtos ovv JLv8o£os €7tiot€V<J€ rot? Uruyos" vStop 
tovto /caAetcrflat ire^rjvaoi. ras 8e Mouaa? l$pv- 
oavro TrapeSpovs ttjs pLavTiKrjs /cat <j)v\aKas avrov 
Trapa to ra/xa /cat to ttjs Vr)s lepov, rjs Ae'yerat to 
p,avT€iov ycviodai Std 1 ttjv iv p,€Tpois /cat /xc'Aeat 
Xp-qo fjup$ lav. eVtot Se /cat rrptoTov ivTavOd <f>acriv 
fjpcaov piCTpov aKovoOfjvou, 

OVpL<j)€p€T€ 7TT€pd T , 2 OlVOVOl, KTjpOV T€, fJLeAlOOCLL' 

E $*Ta tov 0€ov 3 eVtSed yevopLevrjv dirofiaAtLV to 

0€fJLVOV." 

18. '0 TiOLpaTTLOJV, " €7n€l,K€GT€pa TOLVT," €L7T€V , 

" c5 Borjde, /cat txouat/cojTcpa* Set ydp pLrj txa^ea^at 
Trpog tov 6eov* /xryS' dvoupeiv /xerd ttjs fiavTLKrjs 
d/xa ttjv rrpovoiav /cat to #€tov, dAAd rdV vTrevav- 
TLoduOai Sokovvtojv Avoets irn^rjTelv ttjv S* evoefirj 
/cat TTovrpiov ptrj Trpo'Uodcu ttiotiv." 

'OpOcos," €(f)rjv iycb, '* Aeyets, dpiOT€ Sapa- 
77LOJV ovSe ydp <f>iAooo<f>Lav direyiyvdjOKopiev <hs 
dvr)prjpi€vrjv iravTaTraac /cat St€<f)9opvLav , otl rrpo- 
Tepov puev iv 7Toirjp,aoiv e^efapov oi <f>iA6vo<f>oi rd 
Sdy/xara /cat tovs Aoyovs, tomrep Opcfrevs /cat 
F 'HatoSo? /cat HappLevtSrjs /cat lUevocfrdvrjs /cat 
'E/XTTeSo/cAr^ /cat OaAfjs' voTtpov 8' inavoavTo 
/cat 7T€7ravvTat ^poj/xe^ot pt,€Tpots ttAtjv gov' Std 
aou 8' clvOls €t? (f>iAoooSiav irovrfriicq /cdretau', 
opdiov /cat yewatoy iyKeAevopLtvrj Tots* reots 1 . 

Ouo' dvTpoAoyiav dho^oTcpav hroiy\oav ol Tiepl 
'ApiGTapxov /cat Tt/xo^apty /cat 'AptOTuAAoy /cat 

1 Sid added by Wyttenbach. 

2 7TTepa t* Emperius from Philostratus, />//« o/ Apollonius % 
94*1 : 7TTCpa. 3 etra row 0eou F.C.B. : ore ra> 0ea). 

4 0cov Amyot : 0eWa. 
304 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 402 

Eudoxus, therefore, was wrong in believing those who 
declared that this is called the water of the Styx. 
But they established the cult of the Muses as associ- 
ates and guardians of the prophetic art in this very 
place beside the stream and the shrine of Earth, to 
whom it is said that the oracle used to belong because 
of the responses being given in poetic and musical 
measures. And some assert that it was here that the 
heroic verse was heard for the first time : 

Birds, contribute your feathers, and bees, bring wax as 
your portion. 

Later Earth became inferior to the god and lost her 
august position." 

18. M That, Boethus," said Sarapion, " is more 
reasonable and harmonious. For we must not show 
hostility towards the god, nor do away with his provi- 
dence and divine powers together with his prophetic 
gifts ; but we must seek for explanations of such 
matters as seem to stand in the way, and not relin- 
quish the reverent faith of our fathers/' 

" What you say, my esteemed Sarapion," said I, 
" is quite right. We have not been surrendering hope 
for philosophy either, as if it had been completely 
done away with and destroyed, just because formerly 
the philosophers used to publish their doctrines and 
discourses in the form of poems, as Orpheus, Hesiod, 
Parmenides, Xenophanes, Empedocles, and Thales. 
Later they ceased to do this, and now all have ceased 
using metrical form, all except you. At your hands 
the poetic art returns to philosophy from its banish- 
ment, and sounds a clear and noble challenge to the 
young. 

" Nor did Ari starch us, Timocharis, Aristyllus, and 
Hipparchus, and their followers make astronomy less 

305 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

*l7T7rapxov KaraXoydhrjv ypdcfrovres, ev fierpois 
rrporepov Ei38d£oi; Kal 'HaadSoi/ Kal QaXov ypa- 
103 cf)6i>T(x)v, €L ye QaXfjs eTTOLrjaev, cos dXrjOcos elrreZv^ 
rrjv els avrov 2 dva<f>epop,evr)v *AarpoXoyiav. EitV- 
Sapos Se Kal irepl rporrov fxeXcpStas dpeXovfievov 
kolO' avrov a/nopelv ofJLoXoyet, Kal davfid^etv 3 on 
♦ * * ovoev yap eon oeivov ovo arorrov airias 
i^-qretv rtov roiovrcov fierafioXcov avatpelv oe rds 
riyyas Kal rds owdfieis, av n klv7]9j} Kal nap- 
aXXd^j] rcov Kara ravras, ov oiKaiov." 

19. 'YrroXaficov 8' 6 Qecov, " aAAd ravra pLev," 
elrre, " jxeydXas ecr^/ce rco ovn rxapaXXayas Kal 
icaivoTopbLas' rcov 8' evravOa ttoXXovs XPV cr l JL ^ >v 
0106a 6 Kal rore KaraXoydorjv eK<j>epo{ievovs Kal 
B rrepl Trpay/JLarajv ov rcov rv^ovrcov AaKe&ai- 
ILOvLois re yap, cbs ®ovkvSl8t]s larop'qKe, rrepl 
rov rrpos *A9r}vaLovs rroXepiov x/XD/xeVoi? dVeiAe 
vlk7]v Kal Kpdros, Kal Porjdrjaeiv avros Kal rrapa- 
KaXovjxevos Kal dirapaKXrjTOS* ' Kal YlXeiorodvaKra 1 
el fjLrj Karaydyocev ' dpyvpeq evXaKq* evXd^eiv 9 / 

" y Adiqvaiois he Trepl rrjs ev HiKeXiq fxavrevo- 
fxevois arpanas rrpoaera^e rrjv e£ 'Epvdpcov 10 lepeiav 
dvdyeiv 11 rrjs y A6r)vas' eKaXelro 8* C H crista to 
yvvaiov, 

1 E. Harrison would omit ctVctv. 

2 tt)v els avrov Turnebus and Vulcobius : els avr-qv. 

8 davixd&iv Reiske: Oavfid^eu 4 A long lacuna in the mss. 
5 xpvvpw added by Reiske, otada by Paton. 
8 aTTapa.K\r)ros\ d/cA^ros Thucydides. 

7 TlXeioToavaKTa Wyttenbach from Thucydides, v. 16: 
Havoaviav. 

8 evXatca added by Wasse from Thucydides, v. 16. 

9 €v\d£ eiv Wasse : ovX\i£ €iv. 

10 'Epvdpcjv] KXa^ofievwv in the Life of Nicias, ch. xiii. 

306 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 402-403 

notable by writing in prose, although in earlier days 
Eudoxus, Hesiod, and Thales wrote in verse, if indeed 
Thales, in all truth, composed the Astronomy which 
is attributed to him. Pindar also confesses that he is 
puzzled by the neglect of a mode of music and 
is astonished that . . . ° The fact is that there is 
nothing dreadful nor abnormal in seeking the causes 
of such changes ; but to do away with these arts and 
faculties themselves because something about them 
has been disturbed or changed is not right." 

19- Theon, taking up the subject, said, " But these 
matters have actually undergone great changes and 
innovations, whereas you know that many of the 
oracles here have been given out in prose, and those 
that concerned no unimportant matters. For, as 
Thucydides b has recorded, when the Spartans con- 
sulted the god about their war against the Athenians, 
his answer was a promise of victory and power and 
that he himself would come to their aid, bidden or 
unbidden ; and in another oracle that if they would 
not allow Pleistoanax to return from exile, they should 
plough with a silver ploughshare. 

"When the Athenians sought advice about their 
campaign in Sicily, he directed them to get th'j 
priestess of Athena at Erythrae ; the name which 
the woman bore was ' Quiet/ d 

° Unfortunately the cause of Pindar's astonishment has 
been omitted by the copyist, who left a blank here. 

b Thucydides, i. 118. 

e Ibid. v. 16. The meaning seems to be that they would 
have to buy their grain. 

d Cf. Life of Nicias, chap. xiii. (532 a), where it is 
explained that the god advised them ttjv rjovxlav ayav, " to 
keep Quiet." 

11 dvdyeiv] ayciv ibid. Perhaps dyaycTv should be read here. 

307 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(403) " Aewofievovs Se rod TitKeXicorov pLavT€vop,4vov 
ire.pl tG)v viecov, avelAev ws oi rpels TVpawqcroiev 

C V7TOTVXOVTOS Se TOV &€LVOfJL€VOVS , ' OLjJLtot;6[l€VOl 
y cS 8lo7TOT "AlToXXov/ Kdl TOvd* ol l €<$>r] SlSoVcU 

Kal TTpooavaipzlv. tare tqLvvv otl TeXajv {lev 
vSpcom&v 'lepcov 8e XiOiwv Irvpavvrjoev 6 Se 
rpiros QpaovfSovXos eV OTacreat Kal ttoX^jlois y€vo- 
fxevos yj)6vov ov ttqXvv ifjeneae rrjs a-pX*!^- 

" IlpoKArjs roivvv 6 'EmSaupou Tvpavvos dXXovs 
T€ TToXXoVS (JOfJLWS Kal 7rapav6fia>s aVeiAe Kal 
ri/jLapxov an Adrjv&v 7rapayev6fJL€vov jxera XP 7 )' 
[LOJTOiV TTpOS ai)TOV VTToSe^djJLZVOS Kal <f>iAo<j>pov7)9€is 
OL7TeKT€lV€, Kal TO (JtOjJLa KaTZTTOVTlUeV CjLtjSaAoJV €19 

<f>opp,6v €7rpa£e Se ravra Sia. KAeavSpov rov 
D AlywrjroVj rtov dXXojv ayvoovvTOJV . vorepov Se 
tujv Trpaypbdrajv avrto raparrofxevaju , eVe/Lii/fey 
evravda KXeoTLfiov rov d8eX(j)6v eV dnopprjTcp 
/jLavrevaojJievov Trepl (jtvyfjs avrov Kal /xeraoracrecos'. 
dvelXev ovv 6 deos SiSoVai UpoKXeu cf>vyrjv Kal 
pLZTavracrLV , brrov rov <f>opjJiov eWAeuae KaradeaOaL 
top hlyivr\Tr\v ££vov rj ottov to Kepas dnofiaXXeL 
6 kAa<f)os. ovvels ovv o Tvpavvos, otl KeXevet 
KaTa7TovTLt,eiv avTov rj KaTopvTTeiv 6 Beds (oi yap 
eXa<f)oi KaTopvTTovcri Kal d<f)avi£,ovoi KaTa ttjs yfjs 
bWav €K7T€arj to Kepas) 3 e7rea^€v oXiyov xp^ vev > 
efra tcov 7rpayfjLaTO)v TtavTarrraoi fioxOrjpcJov yevo- 
{xivo)v y efeVecre. Aa/JoVres 1 S' avTov oi TOV TlfJidp- 
E Xov <f)tXoL Kal 8ia(f>deipavT€S i£cfiaXov tov vtKpov 
€ls ttjv ddXaTTav. 

1 oi Reiske: aot. 
308 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 403 

M When Deinomenes of Sicily asked advice about 
his sons, the answer was that all three should rule as 
despots ; and when Deinomenes rejoined, * To their 
sorrow, then, O Lord Apollo/ the god said that he 
granted this also to Deinomenes, and added it to the 
response. You all know, of course, that Gelo, while 
he was despot, suffered from dropsy ; and likewise 
Hiero from gall-stones ; and the third, Thrasybulus, 
became involved in seditions and wars, and it was no 
long time before he was dethroned. 

" Then there was Procles, the despot of Epidaurus, 
who did away with many men in a cruel and lawless 
manner, and finally put to death Timarchus, who had 
come to him from Athens with money, after receiv- 
ing him and entertaining him with much show of 
hospitality. The body he thrust into a basket and sank 
in the sea. All this he accomplished through Cleander 
of Aegina, and nobody else knew anything about it. 
But later, when his affairs were in sad confusion, he 
sent here his brother Cleotimus to ask advice in 
secret concerning his flight and withdrawal to another 
country. The god therefore made answer that he 
granted Procles flight and withdrawal to the place in 
which he had bidden his friend from Aegina deposit 
the basket, or where the stag sheds his horns. The 
despot at once understood that the god ordered him 
to sink himself in the sea or to bury himself in the 
earth (for stags, whenever their horns fall off, bury 
them out of sight underground a ) ; but he waited for 
a short time, and then, when the state of his affairs 
became altogether desperate, he had to leave the 
country. And the friends of Timarchus seized him, 
slew him, and cast forth his dead body into the sea. 

a Of. Moralia, 700 d. 

309 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

U o eart pueyLcrTOP, at prjrpai, ot ojv e/cooyx^cre 
tt^ Aa/ceSatuovtow iroXireiav AvKovpyos , eSodrj- 
aav avrw Kara\oydht]v . 

" Mu/otous' 1 roivvv /cat 'HpohoTov /cat OtAo^opou 
/cat "Iarpou, tw^ pudXiGTa tols ipip,€Tpovs p-avTeias 
^iXoTipnqdevTCOV avvayayelv, dvev jjuerpov xp-qapiovs 
yeypa^oTajv, QeoTTopunos ovhevos rprrov ai'dpconajv 

€OTTOvhaKCx)S 7T€pl TO XP 7 ] (JT1 lP lOV > WT^UpcDs* €7Tt- 
T€TLpL7]K€ TOLS prj VOpLL^OVCFL KCLTO, TOP TOT€ ^pOVOV 
€pLp,€TpCL T7]P IlffltaV 0€a7TL^€LV €LTCL TOVTO fiov 

F \6p,€vos GLTToSei^at, TravrdTTCLGiv oXiycov xP r ] cr l Ji( ^ >l 
rjv7r6pr]K€V, <I)s tojp dXXajp 2 /cat tot rjSr] /cara- 
XoydSrjp £t«f)€pop,€PCDP. 

20. " "Eftot Se /cat pvp /xera, pueTpcov e/crpe^oi;- 
cw, <Sj> eVa 3 /cat Ttpayp,a 7T€piP6r]TOP 7T€ttol7]K€. 
pucroyvpov 4, yap c Hpa/cAcous tepoV corny cV tt? Oa>- 
/ctSt, /cat vopLi£,€Tai top Upu)p,€vov cV tcq iviavTco 
yvvaiKi purj opuXeiv Sto /cat TrpcafivTas cViei/cto? 
UpeTs aTToheiKvvovai. ttXtjp epiTrpooOev oXiycp 
Xpovcp veavias ov Trovrjpos dXXd <f>iXoTipbos , iptov 
404 TraiSicrKrjs , cAajSc ttjp lepcoovprjp. /cat to irpojTov 
V p €yKpaT7j$ eavTOV /cat e<f>vy€ tt)p dvdpamov 
dvarravofieva) 8' avTcp ttot€ [acto, ttotop /cat 
XpptLav Trpoo7T€Govoav StC7rpa£aro. <j>of$ovp€vos 
ovv /cat TaparTopievos cVt to puavTelov /carec^uye, 
/cat 7re/>t 7*779 a/xaprta? rjpcoTa top deop ct rt? €t)i 
napaLTiqoLs rj Xvcrcs' eXafie Sc roVSc tov xpTioyxoV* 
amavTa TaVay/cata 6 crvyx<*>p€i 6e6s. 

1 fjLvpiovs Paton ; 'AAvm'ov Reiske : dXvplov. 

2 tcov dXXcov] Taiv itoXXcov Herwerden. 

8 €va Wyttenbach : eveKa. 4 fiiooyvvov Xylander : fiiaovv. 

5 TavayKCLia Reiske : dvayKala. 

310 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 403-404 

" Most important of all is the fact that the 
decrees through which Lycurgus gave form and 
order to the Spartan constitution were given to him 
in prose. 

" Now Herodotus and Philochorus and Ister, men 
who were most assiduous in collecting prophecies in 
verse, have quoted countless oracles not in verse ; but 
Theopompus, who has given more diligent study to 
the oracle than any one man, has strongly rebuked 
those who do not believe that in his time the prophetic 
priestess used verse in her oracular responses. After- 
wards, wishing to prove this, he has found to support 
his contention an altogether meagre number of such 
oracles, indicating that the others were given out in 
prose even as early as that time. 

20. " Some of the oracles even to-day come out 
in metre, one of which an affair has made famous. 
There is in Phocis a shrine of Heracles the Woman- 
hater, and it is the custom that the man who is 
appointed to the priesthood shall have no association 
with a woman within the year. For this reason they 
usually appoint as priests rather old men. By excep- 
tion, only a few years ago, a young man, not at all 
bad, but ambitious, who was in love with a girl, gained 
the office. At first he was able to control himself, 
and succeeded in keeping out of her way ; but when 
she suddenly came in upon him as he was resting 
after drinking and dancing, he did the forbidden 
thing. Frightened and perturbed in consequence, 
he resorted at once to the oracle and asked the god 
about his sin, whether there were any way to obtain 
forgiveness or to expiate it ; and he received this 
response : 

All things that must be doth the god condone. 

311 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(404) " Ov fjLTjv dXXd Sou? dv Tt? d>s ovhev dvev fierpov 
deoTTL^erai /ca#' 77/xa? fi&XXov SiaTToprjaeie 1 7T€pl 
rtov TToXaitov nork p,€V iv 2 /ze'rpots nore 8* dvev 
B pLerpojv SlSovtojv rds diroKploeis . eon 8' ovSe- 
T€pov, a> ttolZ, napdXoyov , p,6vov dv opdas Kal 
Kadapds 7T€pl rod deov Solas' e^co/x^, /cat firj vo\xi- 
£co/xev avrov eKelvov elvai rov rd €7T7] ovvriQivra 
TTporepov Kal vvv 'vrcofSaXXovra rfj Tlvdla rovg 
XP'rjvp'Ovs, a><J7T€p €K TrpooojTTtiojv (frdeyyopievov. 

21. " 'AAA' CLvdlS d£lOV fJL€V €OTt 3 Std jJLOLKpOTepWV 

€l7T€iv ti koX jrvdeaOat, rrepl rovrajv, rd hk vvv iv 
j8pa^€t jjLadovres 8cafjLvrjiJiov€vojpL€v d)$ awfia fiev 
opydvois XPV TaL itoXXols avrto 8e acofxart ifjvxrj Kal 
jxepeai rols aoj/xaros* ^XV ^ opyavov Oeov yiyo- 
vev, opyavov 8' dperrj fxdXtora fjapbetoOat to XP^~ 

Q fX€VOV fj 7T€(f)VK€ 8wdfJL€L Kal TTapix €lV T ° €pyOV 

avrov vo-qixaros ev avrw* Set/cvu/xevov, 6 Set/awat 
8* ovx otov rjv iv rep Srjjjuovpytp KaOapov Kal 
dnaOes Kal dvafxdprr]rov , dXXd j^e/zety/xevov ttoXXco 
t6j dXXorpltp' 6 Kad' iavro yap d8rjXov rjfjuv, ertpov 7 
8e Kal St' irepov (fyaivofievov avarr ipiTrXar ai rfj$ 

€K€lVOV <f>VO€0)S. Kal K7)p6v fl€V €U> Kal X9 vaov 

1 Sianoprjoeie Reiske : oiairopijoei. 

2 iv added by Duebner. 

3 ion] some would write carat, but Plutarch often uses the 
present in such expressions; e.g. 410 d. 

4 avru> Paton : avrw. 

5 oeiKvvfievov F.C.R. : ovvafiivrj. 

6 ttoXXco raj dXXorpta) Wyttenbach (oiVeao Paton) to fill a 
lacuna in the mss. 

7 €T€pov\ iv ifiptp Emperius. 
312 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 404 

" However, even if anybody were to grant that no 
word of prophecy is uttered in our time without 
being in verse, such a person would be in much more 
perplexity regarding the oracles of ancient times 
which gave their responses at one time in verse and at 
another time without versification. However, neither 
of these, my young friend, goes counter to reason if 
only we hold correct and uncontaminated opinions 
about the god, and do not believe that it was he him- 
self who used to compose the verses in earlier times, 
while now he suggests the oracles ° to the prophetic 
priestess as if he were prompting an actor in a play 
to speak his words. 

21 . 4< However, it is worth our while to discuss these 
matters at greater length and to learn about them 
at another time ; but for the present let us recall to 
our minds what we have learned in brief: that the 
body makes use of many instruments b and that the 
soul makes use of this very body and its members ; 
moreover, the soul is created to be the instrument of 
God, and the virtue of an instrument is to conform as 
exactly as possible to the purpose of the agent that 
employs it by using all the powers which Nature has 
bestowed upon it, and to produce, presented in itself, 
the purpose of the very design ; but to present this, 
not in the form in which it was existent in its creator, 
uncontaminated, unaffected, and faultless, but com- 
bined with much that is alien to this. For pure 
design cannot be seen by us, and when it is made mani- 
fest in another guise and through another medium, 
it becomes contaminated with the nature of this 
medium. Wax, for example, and gold and silver I 

a Cf. 397 c, supra, and 414 e, infra. 
b Cf Moralia, 163 e. 

313 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(404) apyvpov re Kal ^aA/coV, Sera r aAAa TrXaTTOfLevrjs 
ovoias €l8t] Se'x^Tat p,€V I8eav utav iKTVTTovfMevrjs 
ofJLOLorrjros, dXXo 8' dXXrjv d<£' iavrov ra> \LipJ\p.aTi 
8iacf>opdv TrpoariOrjar /cat tol$ €v Karorrrpoig em- 

D 7re8oks re Kal /cot'Aot? Kal TTepL-qyiac 1 (^aafJLarwv 
Kal ctoaJAojv a<f> y ivos ethovs pvptas irapaTVTTUKJtis . 
Kal yap, el oiyaXoevT* darpa f3X€7TO[jL€v, 2 ovSev oxire 
fiaXAov ttjv* loeav toiKev ov0 y ws opyavov* xPV cr ^ al 
<f>v<7€i yiyovev evTretOearepov oeXrjvrjs' Aa/xjSdVouaa 
Se Trap' rjXlov to XapLTrpov Kal rrvpojTrov oi>x 
Ofjioiov d7ro7T€/.t77€t npos rjfJL&s, dXXd jjL€i,x@* v avTJ) 
Kal XP°* av /*^T€j8aAe /cat SvvajJLiv efcr^ei/ erepav rj 
8e OepjJLOTrjs Kal TTavTomaoiv e^ot^erat /cat TTpo- 
AeAot7T€ to <f><hs in aodeveias. 

" Otfiai 8e ere* yiyvwoKew to nap* ' Hpa/cAetTa> 
Xeyofxevov d)S d 6 dVa£, ov to uavretdv cart to ev 

E AeX(f>OLS, ovt€ Aeyet ovt€ KpvrrTei aAAa crrj/xatWt. 
TTpoaXafie 8e tovtois ev Aeyo/xeVot? /cat vorjovv tov 
ivTavda deov xP^ ) i x€VOV r V Ilu^ta 77069 aKor]v t 
Ka0d)9 rjXtog xPV Tat v^fyy npos oi/jiv 7 - SeiKvvui 
[lev ydp Kal dva<f>aiv€i tcls avTov vorjaeis, fiefxeiy- 
jxevas 8e heiKvvoi Std acofxaTos Ovtjtov Kal i/fl^tJ? 8 
rjavxlcLV dysw jay) 8vvapi4vr)s* /x^Se 10 Tip kivovvtl 

1 irepLTjyeai Reiske : 7r€piavy4ai. 

2 €i myaXoevr darpa pAiwopev F.C.B. to fill the lacuna in 
the mss. ; alii alia : c&bi. 

3 ttjv added by Reiske. 

4 opyavov] opydvat Reiske. 

5 oc added by Duebner {koI a€ Reiske). 

6 ws 6 Turnebus : wad*. 

7 npos oi/jlv stands after HvBlq, in the mss. ; transposed by 
Wyttenbach. 

8 A lacuna in the mss. after tpvxfjs. Add irapOeviKijs (405 c) ? 
* owatievijs Wyttenbach : ovvd^vos. 

314 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 404 

leave out of account, as well as other kinds of material, 
which, when moulded, take on the particular form of 
the likeness which is being modelled ; and yet each 
one of them adds to the thing portrayed a distinguish- 
ing characteristic which comes from its own sub- 
stance ; and so also the numberless distortions in the 
reflected images f one single form seen in mirrors 
both plane and concave and convex. Indeed, if 
we contemplate the shining constellations, there is 
nothing that shows greater similarity in form, or 
which, as an instrument, is by nature more obedient 
in use than the moon. Receiving as it does from the 
sun its brilliant light and intense heat, it sends them 
away to us, not in the state in which they arrived, 
but, after being merged with it, they change their 
colour and also acquire a different potency. The 
heat is gone, and the light becomes faint because of 
weakness. 

" I imagine that you are familiar with the saying 
found in Heracleitus b to the effect that the Lord 
whose prophetic shrine is at Delphi neither tells nor 
conceals, but indicates. Add to these words, which 
are so well said, the thought that the god of this 
place employs the prophetic priestess for men's ears 
just as the sun employs the moon for men's eyes. 
For he makes known and reveals his own thoughts, 
but he makes them known through the associated 
medium of a mortal body and a soul that is unable 
to keep quiet, or, as it yields itself to the One that 

° Obviously what is left is marble, the less plastic material. 
h Diels, Frag, der Vorsokratiker> i. p. 86, Heracleitus, 
no. b 93. 

10 nrjdk Wyttenbach : 8c. 

315 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

irapeyjE.iv eavrrjv aKivryrov i£ avrrjs kcu kclO- 
eortocrav, dXX* cbcrrrep iv adXto ipofovoav 1 /cat 
avix7rXeKO[Jiiv7]v tols iv avrfj 2 KLvrjp,acn k<u rrd- 
6eocv €7riTapdrTOvaav avrrjv? 

*£ls ydp oi hlvoi Tibv a/xa kvkXco Karacfrepo- 
fievojv aayfjidrajv ovk irnKpaTovai /?€/?at'a>s, aAAa 
kvkXco fiev vtt* avdyKr)$ cf)€pofX€va)v /carcu 8e tfrvoec 
JP p€TrovT(x)v yiyverai tis it; apicj>oiv Tapaycohris /cat 
7rapd(j)opos iXiypLos, ovtcos 6 KaXovpuevos ivdov- 
Oiaopbos eot/ce jA€i£t,s etvai Kwqoetov hvolv, rrjv fiev 
cos* TrenovOe rrjs fax^s ( */ xa T W ^ &S rrecfrvKe 
KivovjjLevrjs. orrov ydp difjvxois ac6/xacrt /cat /cara 
raura pbovLpLois ovk eon yprjaaodai Trap* o Tr£tf)VK€ 
^ta^opievov, ov8e Kwrjoac otftaipiKcbs KvXivhpov rj 
KvfitKcos* rj Xvpav avXrjTLKtos rj odXmyya KiQapi- 
otlkcos' dXX y ovx erepov* a>? eot/ce, to reyyiKibs 
e/caaraj yprjaOai /cat qjs rre(j>VK€v rj7rov to fpufjvxov 
/cat avTOKivryrov 6p\xr\s T€ /cat Xoyov [leTeyov 
dXXtos dv Ttg r) /cara tt)v iv avTtp* TrpovTrdpxovtJav 
405 e^iv rj Svvapuv r) <f>vow j^eTa^etptcratro, puovoiKtos 
klvcov 7 vovv apuovoov r) ypajjupLaTiKcos tov dypdfji- 
fiaTov 7} Xoyiats tov iv Xoyocs dOecoprjTOV /cat 
dvdoK7)Tov ; ovk gotiv zliTeZv. 

22. " MapTvpel Se /zot /cat "Oprjpos, atVt'a fiev 
* dvev Ogov * oifSev cos enos eiTrelv vnoTidepbevos 

1 t/*o(f>ovoav Wyttenbach : i/tavovaav avrrjv. 

2 avrfj Bernardakis ; avrij. 

3 iiriTapaTTOVcrav avrrjv F.C.B. : iinTaparTovcrqs* 

4 17 KvfiiKcos] ri a<f>alpav KvpiK&s Wyttenbach ; k<ovov kv^lkcos 
Wilamowitz-M Ollendorff. Stegmann would omit the two 
words. 

5 irepov Wyttenbach ; erepov ?Ji> Paton : Zrepov ij. 

6 iv aura) Meziriacus : laxnoiv. 

7 kivwv Wyttenbach : kivovvti. 
316 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 404-405 

moves it, to remain of itself unmoved and tranquil, 
but, as though tossed amid billows and enmeshed in 
the stirrings and emotions within itself, it makes itself 
more and more restless. 

" For, as the eddies exercise no sure control over the 
bodies carried round and round in them, but, since 
the bodies are carried round and round by a com- 
pelling force, while they naturally tend to sink, 
there results from the two a confused and erratic 
circular movement, so, in like manner, what is called 
inspiration seems to be a combination of two impulses, 
the soul being simultaneously impelled through one 
of these by some external influence, and through the 
other by its own nature. Wherefore it is not possible 
to deal with inanimate and stationary bodies in a way 
contrary to their nature by bringing force to bear 
upon them, nor to make a cylinder in motion behave 
in the manner of a sphere or a cube, nor a lyre like a 
flute, nor a trumpet like a harp. No, the use of each 
thing artistically is apparently no other than its 
natural use. And as for the animate, endowed with 
power to move of itself and with its share of initia- 
tive and reason, could anyone treat it in a manner 
other than in keeping with the condition, faculty, or 
nature, already pre-existent in it, as, for example, 
trying to arouse to music a mind unmusical, or to 
letters the unlettered, or to eloquence one with no 
observation or training in speeches ? That is some- 
thing which no one could assert. 

22. " Homer a also gives testimony on my side by 
his assumption that practically nothing is brought to 
pass for any reason * without a god ' b ; he does not, 

a II. ii. 169 ; v. 1. 
* For example, Od. ii. 372 ; xv. 531. 

317 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(405) rrepaivo\ievov 9 ov fJLTfV rracn 7rpos rrdvra ^pcS/xcvov 
itoiwv rov deov, aAA' eKaarco Kad* rjv fyec T€"xyr]V 
rj ovvajiiv. r) yap ovx opqs, einev, a> <pi\e 
kioyeviave, rrjv 'AOrjvav, ore ireLcmi fiovXerai rovs 
Axaiovs, rov 'OSvcroea rrapaKaXovaav , ore crvy~ 
X* aL T <* opKia, rov IldvSapov ^rjrovaav, ore rpe- 
B ifjacrOai rovs Tpcoas, errl rov Acofjb-qSrjv fiaSl^ovoav ; 
6 \xev yap evpojoros, Kal /xa^t/xos' o 8e ro^LKos Kal 
dvorjros 6 he Seivos elrrelv Kal (ftpovifxos . ov yap 
efyev "Ojxrjpos rrjv avrrjv HivSdpa) hidvoiav, et ye 
ELVSapos 1 rjv 6 noLTjGas 

deov OeXovros, kolv errl penes TrXeois*' 

dXX eylyvcoGKev* aXXas rrpos dXXa hvvdp,eis Kal 
(frvaets yeyevrjjxevas , ojv eKaorrj Kiveirai Sta(j)6pojs, 
kolv ev fj ro klvovv drrdoas. worrep ovv ro klvovv 
ro rre^ov ov Svvarai Kivrjaaf rrrrjrtKOJS, ovhe 
ropws ro rpavXov ovhi* evc^ojvajs ro la)(v6<f>a)vov 
dXXd Kal rov Bcittov, ch/xcu, 8ta rovr* errl rrjv 
<f)a)vr)v rrapayevojxevov els Kifivrjv errepi/jev oiKiGrrjv y 
C ore rpavXos p>ev rjv Kal LGXv6(f)OJVos fiaoiXtKos he 
Kal noXiriKos Kal <f>povip,os' ovra>s dhvvarov Sia- 
XeyeoOai rroirjriKCJS rov dypapfxarov Kal dvrjKoov 

1 TItv5apa> . . . IT IvBapos Anonymous (Mtvdvhpco . . . Mev- 
avbpos Wilamowitz- M Ollendorff): JlavSdpo) . . . vavbapos. 

2 6eov irXiovros kolv iTnpp*7ra>s MSS. corrected from other 
citations. 

3 iyiva)OK€v Xy lander : ytvaxiKe. 

* Kwrjaai added by Bernardakis. 



• //. ii. 169. b II. iv. 86. c II. v. 1. 

d From the Thyestes of Euripides : Nauck, Trag. Graec. 
318 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 405 

however, represent the god as employing everything 
for every purpose, but as employing each thing in 
accordance with the aptitude or faculty that each 
possesses. Do you not see," he continued, " my 
dear Diogenianus, that Athena, when she wishes to 
persuade the Achaeans, summons Odysseus a ; when 
she wishes to bring to naught the oaths, seeks out 
Pandarus b ; when she wishes to rout the Trojans, 
goes to Diomedes c ? The reason is that Diomedes is 
a man of great strength and a warrior, Pandarus a 
bowman and a fool, Odysseus adept at speaking and 
a man of sense. The fact is that Homer did not have 
the same idea as Pindar, if it really was Pindar who 
wrote 

God willing, you may voyage on a mat ; d 

but Homer recognized the fact that some faculties 
and natures are created for some purposes and others 
for others, and each one of these is moved to action 
in a different way, even if the power that moves them 
all be one and the same. Now this power cannot 
move to flight that which can only walk or run, nor 
move a lisp to clear speaking, nor a shrill thin voice 
to melodious utterance. No, in the case of Battus e 
it was for this reason, when he came to consult the 
oracle for his voice, that the god sent him as a colonist 
to Africa, because Battus had a lisp and a shrill thin 
voice, but also had the qualities of a king and a states- 
man, and was a man of sense. So in the same way 
it is impossible for the unlettered man who has never 
read verse to talk like a poet. Even so the maiden 

Frag., Euripides, no. 397 ; but the line is sometimes ascribed 
to other poets also. 

e Cf. Herodotus, iv. 155 ; Pindar, Pythian Odes, v., and 
the scholium to Pythian iv. 10. 

319 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(405) irrtov, a>a7T€p tj vvv tco deep Xarpevovaa ylyove puev 

€L TLS dXXoS ivTOLvda VOp,ip,OJS Kal KaXtJOS KCil jEfe- 

fUcoKev evraKTCOS' rpafcloa 1 S' ev oIkiq yeajpywv 
irevryrixiVy ovr diro rex vr is oiiSev ovr air* dXXr]s 
twos ijjLTreiplas Kal 8vvdp,€u>s hrifye pop,£vr] kolt€lglv 
els to xP r ] aT VP lov , aAA' wairep 6 Eevo^tav oterac 
8eu> eAa^tcrra T7)v vvp,<j>7)v ISovoav eAa^tara 8' 
aKovaaaav els dvSpqs fiaS l[,€w, ovtojs aireipos Kal 

J) dSarjs oXiyov Sew airdvTOjv Kal irapOevos <l)s 
dXrjOcos rr\v i/fvxrjv T< ? @ e< ? ovveorw. aAA' rjpLeis 
epojSiols olofJLeda Kal Tpox^Xois Kal Kopa^t xPV (J ^ ai 
<{>6eyyop,evois crr)p>awovTa top Seov, Kal ovk d£tov- 
\iev y fj Oewv ayyeXoi Kal KrjpvKes eloi, XoyiKcvs 
eKaara Kal aacf>6js 2 (frpd^ew ttjv he rrjs Uvdlas 
<j)U)vr)v Kal SudXeKTOV tooirep ^oot/coj^ 3 eK OvpieXrjs, 
ovk dvrjhvvrov ovhe Xirrjv aAA' ev fierpcp Kal oyKco 
Kal 7rAaa/xart Kal jj,eTa<f>opals 6vop,dra)V Kal p,eT 
avXov <\>Qeyyop,evqv Txapeyew d£iovp,ev. 

23. " Tt ovv <f)rjoop,€v irepl tojv 7raAatojy; ovx 

E ev dXXd irXeiova, of/xat. irpcjTov p,ev yap, cooirep 
etpjjTai, rd TrXelara KaKewai KaraXoydS'qv a7i- 
e<f)04yyovTO. hevTepov Se Kal crco/xaroj^ rjveyize 
Kpdaeis Kal <f>vaecs 6 XP° P °S eKewos evpovv tl 
Kal <j>opov ixovoas ttoos ttqitjcfw, als evQvs eirey!.- 
yvovTO TTpodvpiiat Kal 6pp,al Kal rrapaoKeval iftvxrjs 
€TOLp,6rr]Ta Troiovaai puKpas e£aj9ev dpxrjs Kal 

1 Tpa<j>iioa Basel ed of 1542: ypafcloa, 

2 oa<j>u)s Reiske : oo<j>a>s. 

3 xopi/cov F.C.B. to fill the lacuna in the mss. ; Poh'enz pro- 
poses TpayiKT)v 9 but btdXeKTov and avXov point to the choral 
song ; so xopGvr&v Bernardakis. 

a Oeconomicu$ 9 7. 4-5. * 403 e and 404 a, supra, 

320 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 405 

who now serves the god here was born of as lawful and 
honourable wedlock as anyone, and her life has been 
in all respects proper ; but, having been brought up 
in the home of poor peasants, she brings nothing with 
her as the result of technical skill or of any other 
expertness or faculty, as she goes down into the 
shrine. On the contrary, just as Xenophon a believes 
that a bride should have seen as little and heard as 
little as possible before she proceeds to her husband's 
house, so this girl, inexperienced and uninformed 
about practically everything, a pure, virgin soul, 
becomes the associate of the god. Now we cherish 
the belief that the god, in giving indications to us, 
makes use of the calls of herons, wrens, and ravens ; 
but we do not insist that these, inasmuch as they are 
messengers and heralds of the gods, shall express 
everything rationally and clearly, and yet we insist 
that the voice and language of the prophetic priestess, 
like a choral song in the theatre, shall be presented, 
not without sweetness and embellishment, but also 
in verse of a grandiloquent and formal style witli 
verbal metaphors and with a flute to accompany its 
delivery ! 

23. " What statement, then, shall we make about 
the priestesses of former days ? Not one statement, 
but more than one, I think. For in the first place, 
as has already been said, & they also gave almost all 
their responses in prose. In the second place, that 
era produced personal temperaments and natures 
which had an easy fluency and a bent towards com- 
posing poetry, and to them were given also zest and 
eagerness and readiness of mind abundantly, thus 
creating an alertness which needed but a slight 
initial stimulus from without and a prompting of the 

321 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

TTpOTpOTTTJS 1 TOV </>aVTaOTLKOV 8eo/JL€V7)V* OJS evQvS 

eXKeoOai rrpos to olk€lov ov povov, d)s Xeyei 
(biXivos, dcrrpoXoyovs Kal <f>iXoo6(f)ovs , aAA' ev oivco 
T€ iToXXcp Kal 7rd0ei yiyvopevojv olktov twos virop- 
JP pvevTos T] x a P^ 7rpoG7T€Oovorjs oXioOdvew* els 
1 evcohov * * * 4 yrjpvv * epa>TtKa>v T€ KaTeiriprrXavro 

fJL€TpOJV Kal aafXOLTOJV TOL OVjXTTOOta Kal tol fiiflXla 

ypappaTwv. 6 S* JE^/Hm'S^S" elirayv* d)S 

TroirjTrjv 8' dpa 
"EpajS* StSdaK€L, Kav apovoos 77 to 7rpw, 

ivCVOTjOeV 7 OTL 7TOL7]TLK7jV Kal pOVOrtKTjV "E/XO? 

hvvapw ovk ivTL0r)criv, evvirdp')(ovaav he Kwel Kal 
avaQeppaivei XavOdvovoav Kal apyovoav. fj p-qheva 
vvv epav, w £eve> Xeywpev, dXXd <j)povhov o"x € °'Q cu 
tov epatTa, otl pueTpots ovhels ovh' (phais 

pip<f>a iraiheiovs {ojs Yltvhapos £<f>7)) 
To£evei peXcydpvas* vpvovs; 

406 aAA* aTorrov epa)Tes yap eTt 9 7T0XX0I tcjv av6pd)7ra>v 10 
€7TLGTpe<f)ovTai, \fjv\aZs S' 11 opiXovvres ovk ev<f>vtos 
ovh* eTolpcos irpos povcrtKrjv exovcrais dvavXoi pev 

1 7rpoTpOTrfjs Reiske : rrapaTpo7T7Js* 

2 heoyi€vr)v Reiske : Sco/LtcV^?. 

3 oXioddveiv F.C.B. : <l)\Lo9av€v. 

4 A lacuna of eight letters in the mss. before yfjpvv ; Paton 
suggests oapiorvs ; perhaps itolt}tt}v ? 

5 ctVcov Basel ed. of 1542 : imojv. 

6 7T017JT7JV dpa "Epwsi ktX. as in 762 b F.C.B. (8* added by 
Valckenaer) : "Etpws Troirjrrjv. 

7 €V€vot}(J€v Wyttenbach : iwoijocu. 

8 7rai8€iovs . . . fieXiydpvas Pindar, Isthm. ii. 3: rratSiots . • • 
ficXiyrjpcas. 

322 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 405-406 

imagination, with the result that not only were 
astronomers and philosophers, as Philinus says, 
attracted at once to their special subjects, but when 
men came under the influence of abundant wine or 
emotion, as some note of sadness crept in or some joy 
befell, a poet would slip into * tuneful utterance ' a ; 
their convivial gatherings were filled with amatory 
verses and their books with such writings. When 
Euripides said 

Love doth the poet teach, 
Even though he know naught of the Muse before, 6 

his thought was that Love does not implant in one 
the poetical or musical faculty, but when it is already 
existent in one, Love stirs it to activity and makes it 
fervent, while before it was unnoticed and idle. Or 
shall we say, my friend, that nobody is in love nowa- 
days, but that love has vanished from the earth 
because nobody in verse or song 

Launches swiftly the shafts 
Of sweet-sounding lays 
Aimed at the youth beloved, 

as Pindar c has put it ? No, that is absurd. The fact 
is that loves many in number still go to and fro among 
men, but, being in association with souls that have no 
natural talent nor ear for music, they forgo the flute 

° Cf. Moralia, 623 a. 

b The quotation, from the Stheneboea of Euripides, 
Plutarch repeats in more complete form in Moralia, 622 c 
and 762 b. Cf. Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag. p. 569, Euri- 
pides, no. 663. 

e Pindar, Isthmian Odes, ii. 3. 

9 ert Reiske : on. 

10 T(Sv dvBpiOTrojv Turnebus : tov avOpojirov. 

11 8* added by Reiske. 

323 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

406) /cat aAvpot AaAot 8* ovSev fjrrov etcrt /cat StdVvpoi 
rcov iraAaicov ert S' 1 ouS' ooiov elrrelv 7} kolAov <bs 
avipaaros r\v rj A/caS^/teta /cat 6 HcoKpdrovs /cat 
YiXdrcDvos xopos, cov Aoyois p,€v ipooriKols ev- 
Tvy/lv eon, 7TocijiJiara 8' ovk arroAeAoLTracn. rt 

8' <X7ToA€L7T€L 2 TOV AtyOVTOS ipODTlKTJV fJLOVTJV y€yO" 

vivai Ha7T<f)(l) yvvaiKihv 6 fiavTLKrjv (f)doKO)v p.6vr\v % 
yeyovevai HLfivAXav /cat 'ApioroviKav /cat oaat 
B Sta fierpcov idepLtorevaav; 

6 jxev yap olvos {cos e'Aeye XatpT^tiOjv) rot? rporrois 

K€paVVVTCU 
TCOV TTLVOVTOUV 6 Se [JLaVTlKOS €v6oVOl<XOp,6s , GOOTTep 

6 ipcoriKog, xprjrat, rfj vTroKeifjievrj hwajxei /cat KLvel 
tcjv &e£ap.€va)v zKaarrov Ka6* o 7T€(f)VK€v. 

24. ' Ov [Ji7]v dAAa /cat to rod Oeou /cat rrjs irpo- 
voias (JKOTTovvres , Si/jofieOa 77009 to JUAtlov yeyevr]- 
\xivr\v rrjv fjLerapoArjv . dpLoifirj yap eot/ce youi- 
afxaros rj rod Aoyou XP €ta * KaL 80/ct/xov /cat avrov 
to ovviqdes €OTt /cat yvcopipiov y dAArjv ev dXAois 
Xpovois lo)(vv AapbfidvovTos . ffv ovv ore Aoyov 
vo[ilu[iaoiv ixpoovro fierpois /cat fieAeot /cat coSals, 
C Traoav fxev luroplav /cat (f>tAooo(f)Lav irav Se rrdOos 
cos* aTrAco? zlirelv /cat npayp,a aepLVorepas (ficorrjs 
heofievov els TroL-qrtKrjU /cat jjlovolktjv ayovrzs. ov 

1 IrtS'Reiske; o0ev Wyttenbach : on. 

2 d7roA€t7TCt TurnebilS : aTroAt/rrciv. 

3 6 . . . (fxxoKOiv \x6vt)v added by Turnebus to fill a lacuna in 
the mss. 

Such, for example, as the Phaedrus of Plato. 

b A few epigrams (some amatory) attributed to Plato may 

324 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 406 

and lyre, but they are no less loquacious and ardent 
than those of olden time. Besides it is not righteous 
nor honourable to say that the Academy and Socrates 
and Plato's congregation were loveless, for we may 
read their amatory discourses a ; but they have left 
us no poems. 5 As compared with him who says that 
the only poetess of love was Sappho, how much does 
he fall short who asserts that the only prophetess 
was the Sibyl and Aristonica and such others as 
delivered their oracles in verse ? As Chaeremon c 
says, 

Wine mixes with the manners of each guest, 

and as he drinks, prophetic inspiration, like that of 
love, makes use of the abilities that it finds ready at 
hand, and moves each of them that receive it accord- 
ing to the nature of each. 

24. " If, however, we take into consideration the 
workings of the god and of divine providence, we 
shall see that the change has been for the better. 
For the use of language is like the currency of coin- 
age in trade : the coinage which is familiar and well 
known is also acceptable, although it takes on a 
different value at different times. There was, then, a 
time when men used as the coinage of speech verses 
and tunes and songs, and reduced to poetic and 
musical form all history and philosophy and, in a 
word, every experience and action that required a 
more impressive utterance. Not only is it a fact 

be found in the Anthology ; cf. Bergk, Poet. Lyr. Graec. ii. 
295-312 ; Edmonds, Elegy and Iambic, ii. pp. 2-1 1 (L.C.L.) ; 
and for Socrates' poems see Suidas s.v. ; Plato, Phaedo, 
60 c-d ; Diogenes Laertius, ii. 42 ; Athenaeus, 628 e ; Bergk, 
Poet. Lyr. Graec. ii. 287-288. 

c Cf. Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag. p. 787, no. 16 ; cf. also 
437 d-e, infra. 

S25 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(406) ydp fiovov vuv SXlyoc /xovW €7ratovcri, Tore Se ndvreg 
TjKpoajVTO /cat exaipov aSo/xeVots 

firjXo^orat r 1 dporai r opvixoXoftoi 2 re 

Kara Tllvbapov aAA* vtto rfjs irpos TroirjriKrjv £tti- 
TrjSetorrjros ot irXeloroi Std Xvpas /cat 018779 evov- 
Oerovv €7Tappr)(jid£ovTo irapeKeXevovro , jjlv9ols /cat 

7TapOifxlai£ 3 €7T€pCLLVOV, €TL S' V/XVOVS 0e<X>V €V)(aS 

TTaiavas ev puerpois eiroiovvro Kal fieXecnv oi fiev 
1 evcpviav ot be ota ovvrjuetav. ovkovv ovoe 
IxavTiKrf /cdcr/xou /cat ^aptros 1 ecf)86vei 6 6eos ouS 

D a7777Aaw€v evdevSe rrjv 5 rifjLa>[JLevrjv jjiovoav rov 
TpLTroSos, dAA' eirryyero /jl&XXov eyetpcov* ras 7rotrj~ 
rt/cds* /cat 7 daTra^djLtevo? </>vcreis, avros re cfyavraotas 
evehihov /cat crvve£a)p{ia ro oofiapov /cat Adytov co? 
appLorrov /cat Oavp.a^dfJievov. errel 8e rou /Jtou 
/xerajSoAr)^ d/xa Tats rv^ats /cat Tat? (f>voeoi Aa/x- 
fidvovros i£a>9ovaa ro nepirrov rj XP €La KpcDJSvXovs 
re xpvoovs d<f>rjpei /cat ^ucrTtSas" ixaAa/cds' a7niju,</>ta£€ 
/cat 7rou /cat kojjltjv oofiapairepav direKeipe /cat 
vireXvoe KoOopvov, ov <f>avXa>s eOi^oyuevajv avri- 
KaXXcoTTcl^eodac 7rpos rrjv 7roXvreXeiav evreXeia /cat 

E to d</>eXe9 /cat AtToV ev koo/jlo) riOeodai /jl&XXov rj 

1 fiTjXop&Tai, t added by Xy lander from Pindar or Moral la 
473 a to fill a lacuna in the mss. 

2 opvLxoXoxoc Pindar, Jstkm. i. 68 : 6pviQo\6yot. 

3 fivdois Kal Trapoi/Lu'aij] fxvdovs Kal 7rapoifilas Wyttenbach. 

4 fiavTiKfj Turnebus : fiavriKTjv, 

5 rrjv added by Stegmann. 

6 cyec/ocov] iripaiv A pelt. 

7 Kal added by Vulcobius. 



Isthmian Odes, i. 68 : repeated more fully in Moralia, 
473 a. 
226 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 406 

that nowadays but few people have even a limited 
understanding of this diction, but in those days the 
audience comprised all the people, who were de- 
lighted with Pindar's a song, 

Shepherds and ploughmen and fowlers as well. 

Indeed, owing to this aptitude for poetic composition, 
most men through lyre and song admonished, spoke 
out frankly, or exhorted ; they attained their ends 
by the use of myths and proverbs, 6 and besides com- 
posed hymns, prayers, and paeans in honour of the 
gods in verse and music, some through their natural 
talent, others because it was the prevailing custom. 
Accordingly, the god did not begrudge to the art of 
prophecy adornment and pleasing grace, nor did he 
drive away from here the honoured Muse of the 
tripod, but introduced her rather by awakening and 
welcoming poetic natures ; and he himself provided 
visions for them, and helped in prompting im- 
pressiveness and eloquence as something fitting and 
admirable. But, as life took on a change along with 
the change in men's fortunes and their natures, 
when usage banished the unusual and did away 
with the golden topknots c and dressing in soft robes, 
and, on occasion, cut off the stately long hair and 
caused the buskin to be no longer worn, men accus- 
tomed themselves (nor was it a bad thing) to oppose 
expensive outlay by adorning themselves with 
economy, and to rate as decorative the plain and 

b Passages from Hesiod, Theognis, and Archilochus might 
be cited in confirmation of these statements. See also E. B. 
Stevens, " The Topics of Counsel and Deliberation in Pre- 
philosophic Greek Literature" in Classical Philology^ xxviii. 
(1933) pp. 104-120. 

« C/. Thucydides, i. 6. 

327 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

to oofiapov Kal Trepiepyov ovrco tov Xoyov 1 ovpi- 
fxeTafidXXovTOS ajjia Kal ovvairoSvojuevov* Karefir) 
jxev d.770 rtov jjierpajv ojorrep 6yr)\xaTU)V rj iorropla 
Kal rep Trel^qj fjudXcara rod jjuvdcoSovs a7T€Kpi9r) to 
dXrjOes' <f>tXocro(f>ia Se to oacf>es Kal SiSaoKaXiKov 
acnraGaiizvr) jjl&XXov rj to eKTrXrJTTov ttjv Sid Xoyayv 
IttoicIto fy/jrqatv dneTravoe Se ttjv XlvOiav 6 Oeos 
' TTvpucdovs * \xev oyofid^ovcrav tovs avrrjs iroXiTas, 
' 6(f>LofS6povs * Se tovs Yiir apTi&T as , ' opeavas ' Se 
tovs avSpas, ' opefjLTTOTas * Se tovs 7roTap,ovs' 
F d<f>eXd)v Se t&v xp7]crp,a>v eirrj Kal yXtoTTas Kal 
7repi<f>pdoeis Kal dod<f>a,av ovto) StaXeyeaOai rrap- 
eoKevaae tols xpoj/xcVoiS' oj? vofjuoi Te TroXeot 
SiaXeyovTai Kal fiaoiXcis evTvyydvovoi St]llois Kal 
jjLaQrjTal* ScSaoKaXajv aKpocovTat, rrpos to avveTOV 
Kal TTiQavov apfio^ofxevos. 

25. " Eu yap elSevai xpfj tov Oeov, a>s <f>rjai 
TiO(f>oKXrjs, 

o~o<f>oZs p>ev alviKTrjpa deofyaTOjv del, 
OKaiols Se cf>avXov Kav jSpa^ei SiSdcncaAov. 

407 ft^ra Se ttjs cra<j)y)velas Kai rj ttiotis ovtojs eoTpe- 
<f>eTo ovpLfxeTa^aXXovaa tois dXXots Trpdyiiaoiv, 
a>OTe TrdXai \xev to jjirj ovvqdes firjSe. kolvov dAAd 
Xo^ov* aTexva>s Kal Trepi7re<j>pa(TLLevov els virovoiav 
OetoTrjTos 5 dvdyovTas eKTrXrjTTeoOaL Kal oefieodai 
tovs ttoXXovs* vaTepov Se to oa<f>tds Kal paSta>s 
e/caora Kal [jltj ovv SyKtp pbrjSe nXdafjiaTL iiavBdveiv 

1 tov Xoyov Leonicus : rco Xoyco. 

2 ovva7ToBvofjL€vov] ovva7ToXvofi€vov Bernardal is. 

3 fiadrjral Leonicus : Ka6r)yrp-ai. 

4 aAAd Xo£6v Reiske : aXX aho£ov. 

5 0€l6tt]tos Wyttenbach : ouiottjtos. 

828 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 406-407 

simple rather than the ornate and elaborate. So, as 
language also underwent a change and put off its 
finery, history descended from its vehicle of versifica- 
tion, and went on foot in prose, whereby the truth 
was mostly sifted from the fabulous. Philosophy 
welcomed clearness and teachability in preference to 
creating amazement, and pursued its investigations 
through the medium of everyday language. The god 
put an end to having his prophetic priestess call her 
own citizens ' fire-blazers,* the Spartans * snake- 
devourers,' men ' mountain-roam ers/ and rivers 
' mountain-engorgers.' When he had taken away 
from the oracles epic versification, strange words, 
circumlocutions, and vagueness, he had thus made 
them ready to talk to his consultants as the laws talk 
to States, or as kings meet with common people, or as 
pupils listen to teachers, since he adapted the lan- 
guage to what was intelligible and convincing. 

25. ''Men ought to understand thoroughly, as 
Sophocles says, that the god is 

For wise men author of dark edicts aye, 
For dull men a poor teacher, if concise. 

The introduction of clearness was attended also by a 
revolution in belief, which underwent a change along 
with everything else. And this was the result : in 
days of old what was not familiar or common, but was 
expressed altogether indirectly and through circum- 
locution, the mass of people imputed to an assumed 
manifestation of divine power, and held it in awe and 
reverence ; but in later times, being well satisfied to 
apprehend all these various things clearly and easily 
without the attendant grandiloquence and artifici- 

° Cf. Nauek, Trag. Graec. Frag. p. 298, Sophocles, no. 
704 (no. 771 Pearson). 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(407) ayamu)VT€S fjTicovTo tt)v 7TepiK€ip,€vr)v tols xpY)crfLals 
TToirfoiv, ov [lovov d)9 avriTTpaTTOVoav 1 rfj vorjaei 
7Tpo$ to aXrjOes aoa<f>€iav t€ Kal oklolv tco (f>pa^o- 
B pi€vcp fxeiyvvovoav, aAA' rjSrj Kal tols p,€Ta<f>opas 
Kal to. alvlyiiara /cat tols a\A$>if$o\ias , warrep 
fivxovs /cat Kara<f>vyas evSvecrQai Kal avaxatpelv 
T<h tttcIovti TTenoi-qiiivas* ttjs fiavTLKrjs, v(f>- 

€OJpCOVTO. TToWoJV 8 "fjV OLKOV€LV OTL TTOLTjTLKOL 

tlv€S ai'Spes €kS€x6ix€vol tols <j)(A)va$ /cat U7roAa/xj3d- 
vovt€S €77t/cd^i/rat 8 TT€pl TO xP r ] GTr ]p iov > ^ 7TJ ] KaL 
fji€Tpa /cat pvdp,ovs olov dyyela tols XP 7 ] ^ ^ * k 

TOV TTpOOTVXOVTOS TT€pL7r\€KOVT€S . 'OvOflCLKpiTOl 8' 

€K€ivoi Kal UpoScKot* Kal KtvaiOajves* ocrrjv alriav 
avrjveyKavTO* tcov XP 7 I G P LC ^ >V > **>$ t pay coo lav avTols 
C Kal oyKov ovSev Seo/xevoLS TrpoodevTes ico \4yew 
ovhe irpooUiiaC tols /xera/JoAd?. 

" nActarr;? [azvtol 7T0LrjTLKr)v* iv€7rXr]oev d8o^ias 
to ayvpTiKov /cat ayopalov Kal TTtpl tol firjTpcpa 
Kal Haparrela 9 ficofioXoxovv /cat 7rXavcbp,€vov yevos, 
ol fiev avToOev ol Sc /card KXrjpov e/c tlvcov ypap,- 
jjLaT€iu)v 10 xp^oyxous' ir€pa.lvovT€S ot/ccrats 1 /cat yv- 
vaiois V7TO tcov fxirpcov ayofievoLs jiaXioTa Kal tov 

TTOlTjTlKOV TCOV OVOpLOLTCOV O0€V OVX 7]KLOTa 7TOL'qTLKr) 

SoKovoa kolvtjv €/x7rap€^€tv eavTrjv arraTecooL /cat 

1 avriirpaTTOvoav] avTi<j>pa.TTovoav H. Jackson, 

2 Tt€TTon)ti£vas Meziriacus: TttTToi-qntva. 

8 GirLKaOrjvrai EmperillS : ere Ka$7]VTac. 

* Hpo&iKOL Botzon : rrpoBorai, 

5 KivaiOcoves Botzon and Cobet : Kivccrcwes. 

6 avT\v€yKavro F.C.B. r r\v£yKavro. 

7 TTpoaUp.at Wyttenbach : TTpooelvai. 

8 TrotrjTLKrjv Turnebus : ttoltitiktIs. 

9 SapaTreta, as elsewhere, Bernardakis : oepdneia. 

10 ypawA<iT€Lwv Bernardakis : ypa(.Kfiariwv. 

330 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 407 

ality, they blamed the poetic language with which the 
oracles were clothed, not only for obstructing the 
understanding of these in their true meaning and for 
combining vagueness and obscurity with the com- 
munication, but already they were coming to look 
with suspicion upon metaphors, riddles, and ambigu- 
ous statements, feeling that these were secluded nooks 
of refuge devised for furtive withdrawal and retreat 
for him that should err in his prophecy. Moreover, 
there was the oft-repeated tale that certain men with 
a gift for poetry were wont to sit about close by the 
shrine waiting to catch the words spoken, and then 
weaving about them a fabric of extempore hexa- 
meters or other verses or rhythms as * containers,' so 
to speak, for the oracles. I forbear to mention how 
much blame men like Onomacritus, a Prodicus, and 
Cinaethon have brought upon themselves from the 
oracles by foisting upon them a tragic diction and a 
grandiloquence of which they had no need, nor have 
I any kindly feeling toward their changes. 

M However, the thing that most filled the poetic art 
with disrepute was the tribe of wandering soothsayers 
and rogues that practised their charlatanry about the 
shrines of the Great Mother and of Serapis, making up 
oracles, some using their own ingenuity, others taking 
by lot from certain treatises oracles for the benefit of 
servants and womenfolk, who are most enticed by 
verse and a poetic vocabulary. This, then, is not the 
least among the reasons why poetry, by apparently 
lending herself to the service of tricksters, mounte- 
■ C/. Herodotus, vii. 6. 

331 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(407) y6r\oiv dvdpojTroLS Kal ijs€vhop,dvT€cnv e|e7reae 7tjs 
aXrjOelas Kal iov Tpiirohos. 

26. " Oi) Toivvv Oavfxdaatfx dv, et St^Adr^ 
twos 4'Sci kcu Trepiaycoyrjs Kal daac/)€tag earcv ore 
D rots' TraXaiols* ov yap 6 oelva p,d Ata KareBaive 
7T€pl <bvr)S dvhpaTrohov xP r } <J °l X€V0 S °v& o Selva 
rrepl ipyaalas, dXXd TroXets /xeya hwdfievai kcu 
fiamXets Kal rvpayvoi [xerpiov ovoev (j>povovvT€s 
kvervyyjxvov rep Qeto rrepl TTpaypidrtov 1 ' ovs dviav 
Kal 7rapo£vv€iv a7T€^0€ta TroAAa T&v dPovXrjTOJV 
aKovovras ovk iXvcrcreXet tols vrepl to \py\Grr\piov \* 
ov TTelderai yap 6 6eos rep TLvpiTTiSj] cooirep* vofio- 
OerovvTL Kal Xeyovri 

<$>ol(5ov avOpojTTois yiovov 
XP^j v * dzoTTitpSelv. 

Xpojpbevos §e OvrjTois virriperais Kal Trpo^-qrais, guV 
E KrjoeaOai 7rpoarjK€i Kal ^vXarretv, ottojs far* dvOpoj- 

TTLOV OVK aTToXoVVTai TTOVTjpCJV Oeto Xarp€vovT€s, 

a(f>aviL,€LV p,€v ov OeXec to dXrjdes, rrapaTp€Tra>v he 
rrjv hrjXojcnv avrov Kaddirep avyrjv iv rfj TroirjTLKfj 
noXXas dvaKXdaeis Xa/jufidvovoav Kal rroXXaxov 
T^pLorx^ofjiev'qv, d(f>rjpet to avTiTVirov avTov Kal 
uicXripov. rjv 8 dp* a 6 KaXov* Tvpdwovs dyvorjoac 
Kal 7ToXe/JLiovs pur) TrpoaiodecrOai. tovtois ovv Trepi- 

1 Paton assumed a lacuna after npayfiaTajv which he filled 
elaborately. Schwartz suggested ttoXltlk&v, Kronenberg 
dvovuov, but ficydXojv would perhaps be better. Probably, 
however, the text is sound as it stands. 

2 xprjaHjpiov Stephanus : St/cacmJ/Hov. 

3 to) Evpin&T) uxjTTsp Wyttenbach : uxjirep rip EvpimhTj. 

4 xprjv Euripides : XPV* 

5 dp* a Madvig* : dpa, 
332 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 40 

banks, and false prophets, lost all standing with truth 
and the tripod. 

26. " I should not, therefore, be surprised if there 
were times when there was need of double entendre, 
indirect statement, and vagueness for the people of 
ancient days. As a matter of fact, this or that 
man assuredly did not go down to consult the oracle 
about the purchase of a slave or about business. No, 
powerful States and kings and despots, who cherished 
no moderate designs, used to appeal to the god 
regarding their course of action ; and it was not to 
the advantage of those concerned with the oracle to 
vex and provoke these men by unfriendliness through 
their hearing many of the things that they did not 
wish to hear. For the god does not follow Euripides a 
when he asserts as if he were laying down a law : 

None but Phoebus ought 
For men to prophesy. 

But inasmuch as the god employs mortal men to 
assist him and declare his will, whom it is his duty to 
care for and protect, so that they shall not lose their 
lives at the hands of wicked men while ministering to 
a god, he is not willing to keep the truth unrevealed, 
but he caused the manifestation of it to be deflected, 
like a ray of light, in the medium of poetry, where it 
submits to many reflections and undergoes subdivisions , 
and thus he did away with its repellent harshness. 
There were naturally some things which it was well 
that despots should fail to understand and enemies 
should not learn beforehand. About these, therefore, 
• Phoenissae, 958. 

6 koXov F.C.B. : kcI (cS« after noXefxlovs Paton : awcfap* 
Pohlenz). 

332 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

efiaXev virovolas /cat a /x<£tAoy ias, at npos irepovs 
aTTOKpvTTTovoai to <f)pa£6fjL€vov, ov 8i€<f>evyov av- 
tovs ovoe 7rapeKpovovro rovs S<sojjl€vovs /cat irpoo- 
exovras. o0€v tvrjdeoraTos lariv 6 rtov it pay- 
fidrcov irtpojv yeyovoraju, el p,r)K€Ti tov avrov 
F TjpZv rpoTTOv aXX* erzpov ot'erat heiv fioTjOeiv 6 Oeos, 
iyKaXtov /cat ovKo^avr&v. 

27. " "Ert toivvv, ovhev dno TToirjTLKrjs Xoyco XPV 
oifi(x)T€pov VTrapyei rod oeOtvra fierpois to. ^>pa£o- 
fieva /cat avfjL7rXaK€vra fidXXov pLvrjixoveveodat /cat 
KpareloO at. tois fxkv ovv rore TroXXrjv eSet 1 /xvtJ/at^ 
napelvai' TroAAa yap €(f>pd^€ro /cat tottojv ar; jaeta 
/cat TTpd^etov Kaipol /cat detov lepd Siolttovticov /cat 
rjpaxjov d7TopprjTOL Otjkoll /cat 2 ovoe^evperot fxaKpav 2 
drraipovoL tt]s 'EAAaSos. tare 4 yap TevKpov 5 /cat 
408 KprjTtvrjv* /cat IVr/at'o^oi/ 7 /cat <S>dXav9ov? aXXovs re 
ttoXXovs rjyzpbovas otoXojv ogovs €§£t T€Kpir}plOLS 
dvevpelv rr}v oLoopLtvrjv c/caaro) /cat TrpocrrjKovcrav 
lopvcriv £>v evioi /cat ou)p,dpTavov ', tovTrep Barros'. 
e'Sofe 9 yap €K7T€0€lv ov KaraXaficbv ifr ov iiT€p,<f)6r) 

1 ISei Basel ed. of 1542 : m. 

2 teal added by Reiske. 

3 fiaKpav Bernard akis : fiaKpov. 

4 Iot€ Reiske : «V. 

5 Tcvkoov Sieveking: to x^ov. 

8 KprjTivrjv, the usual form : Kpynvov (Kpyrlvov Cronert). 

7 Yvr]oioxov Paton ; 'Ovjoixov Amyot : . . vraixov. 

8 QaXavdov Basel ed. of 1542: <j>d\aii>9ov. 

9 ISof € Reiske : eAe£*. 



a For example, the famous oracle given to Croesus 
(Herodotus, i. 53; Aristotle, Rhetoric, iii. 5 (1407 a 39)) 
that if he crossed the river Halys he should overthrow a 
great kingdom ; but the kingdom was his own. 
334 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 407-408 

he put a cloak of intimations and ambiguities a which 
concealed the communication so far as others were 
concerned, but did not escape the persons involved 
nor mislead those that had need to know and who 
gave their minds to the matter. Therefore anyone is 
very foolish who, now that conditions have become 
different, complains and makes unwarranted indict- 
ment if the god feels that he must no longer help us 
in the same way, but in a different way. 

27. " Then, besides, there is nothing in poetry more 
serviceable to language than that the ideas communi- 
cated, by being bound up and interwoven with verse, 
are better remembered and kept firmly in mind. 
Men in those days had to have a memory for many 
things. For many things were communicated to 
them, such as signs for recognizing places, the times 
for activities, b the shrines of gods across the sea, 
secret burial-places of heroes, hard to find for men 
setting forth on a distant voyage from Greece. You 
all, of course, know about Teucer and Cretines and 
Gnesiochus and Phalanthus and many other leaders 
of expeditions c who had to discover by means of 
evidential proofs the suitable place of settlement 
granted to each. Some of these made a mistake, as 
did Battus. d For he thought that he had been forced 
to land without gaining possession of the place to 
which he had been sent. Then he came a second time 

b As in Hesiod's Works and Days. 

c Cf. Geographi Graeci Minores, i. p. 236, Scymnus, no, 
949 ; scholium on Apollonius Rhodius, ii. 351. 

d Battus was sent by an oracle to found a colony in 
Africa, but settled in an island (Plataea) off the coast. 
Since the colony did not prosper, he came again to consult 
the oracle : cf. Herodotus, iv. 155-157 ; Pindar, Pythian Odes, 
v. ; Aristotle, Frag. 611. 16 (ed. Rose). 

335 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(408) TOTTOV eW $K€ heVT€pOV TTOTVl(I)LL€VOS . V7Teinoi}V 
OVV O V€OS, 

at TV €fi€V Ai/Juav 1 fjLaXorp6(f>ov otadag dpeiov* 
firj iXdcbv iXOovros, dyav dya/xat ao(f>tr]v crev* 

ovtoj irdXw avrov i^enefjupG. 

"AvoavSpos 8e Kal TravraTraoLV ayvo-qoas rov 
OpX&Xihy)v* X6<f>ov ,ko1 y AXoj7T€Kov A npooayopcvo- 
fievov Kal rov 'OttXittjv TTorapov 

yr)s T€ hp&Kovd'* viov hoXiov KaroTTtoOev lovra, 

B fld-XT) KpCLTTjOeiS €7T€0€V €V TOIS TOTTOIS €K€LVOLS V7TO 

Neoxcopov * AXiapriov* dvSpos doiriha <f>opovvros 
emarjfioi' 5<f>iv exovaav. aAAa 8e roiavra noXXa 
hvoKaOeKra Kal BvofivrjiMOvevra ra>v rraXauov 
Stc^teVat npos vfids €t86ras ovk dvayKoiov ioriv. 

28. " Td ok vvv Trpdyfjuara KaOeortora, irepl cov 
epoDTtooi rov Oeov, dyaTrco fikv eyajye Kal dona^o- 
fjuar ttoXXtj yap elprjvrj Kal ^cru^ia, iriiravrai ok 
7roA€/xo9, Kal irXdvai Kal crrdoeis ovk elolv ovSk 
C rvpavvioes ovS 9 dXXa voorjfjiara Kal /ca/cd rrjs 
'EAAdSos d>on€p 7ToXv<f>apfJidKa)v 8vvdp,€tov XPV' 
^ovra Kal irepirrcjv . ottov Se ttolkLXov ovhkv oz)8' 
drroppryrov ov&k Secvov, dAA' cm TTpdypiaoi jjLiKpots 
Kal SrjfjLOTiKois ipojrrjcreis olov iv oxoXfj Trpordoeis, 
* el yapa^riov, 9 ' ct rrXevariov / ' €t haveioreov * ra 

1 al tv ifi€v AiAvav Wyttenbach from Herodotus, iv. 157: 
fiiXipvav preceded by a lacuna of eight or nine letters. 

2 Ai/St/i/v fir)Xorpo<fov olBas dfj,€ivov Herodotus. 

3 % OpxaMhrjv from the Life of Lysander, chap. xxix. : apx*- 
XlBrjv, 

4 'A\a>ir€Kov ibid, : dXatmjKov, 

5 hpaKovO* Stephanus: Spaicovra. 
336 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 408 

in sore distress. And the god made answer to 
him ° : 

If without going you know far better than I, who have gone 

there, 
Africa, mother of flocks, then I greatly admire your wisdom, 

and with these words sent him forth again. 

" Ly sander also failed to recognize the hill Orchalides 
(the other name of which is Alopecus) and the river 
Hoplites b and 

Also the serpent, the Earth-born, behind him stealthily 
creeping, 

and was vanquished in battle, and fell in that very 
place by the hand of Neochorus, a man of Haliartus, 
who carried a shield which had as its emblem a snake. 
Numerous other instances of this sort among the 
people of olden time, difficult to retain and remember, 
it is not necessary to rehearse to you who know them. 

28. " For my part, I am well content with the 
settled conditions prevailing at present, and I find 
them very welcome, and the questions which men 
now put to the god are concerned with these con- 
ditions. There is, in fact, profound peace and tran- 
quillity ; war has ceased, there are no wanderings of 
peoples, no civil strifes, no despotisms, nor other 
maladies and ills in Greece requiring many unusual 
remedial forces. Where there is nothing complicated 
or secret or terrible, but the interrogations are on 
slight and commonplace matters, like the hypothetical 
questions in school : if one ought to marry, or to start 
on a voyage, or to make a loan ; and the most impor- 

° The same lines are found in Herodotus, iv. 157. 
5 Life of Ly sander i chap. xxix. (450 b-c). 

6 vtto Ncox^pou 'AAiaprtov Reiske, from the Life of by sander : 
v^>* a>v 6 x<*>p°s 'AXidprov. 

337 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

408) Se illy tara iroXecov p,avT€vp,aTa <f>opa$ Kapntov Tripi 
Kal fioTcbv €7riyoV7Js Kal ocjDjiaTOJV vyizias, ivravda 
7TepifZaX\£iv fjberpa Kal TrXdrreiv irept^pdoeis /cat 
yXojrras irrdy^tv 7Tvap,aoLV djrXrjs Kal avvropiov §60- 
fxevois arroKptoecos , epyov eart ^tAort/xou aocf)i(jrov 
koXXojttl^ovtos eirl 86£rj y^py\OTy]piov . rj Se Uv9ta 
/cat Ka9* avrrjv /xeV eart yevvaia to rjdos, orav §' 
D €K€L KareXdrj Kal ,y£vryrai Trapa Tto deep, nXeov 
to KadrjKov TrXrjpovv 1 rj iKelvrjs* /xe'Aet 86£rj$ Kal 
avdpojTrayv €7TaivovvTtov r) ifjeyovTOiv. 

29. hjbet, o taaj? /cat rjp,as ^X CLV 0VTa) S' vvv 
8' a>G7T€p aya>vLa>vT€s Kal SeStore?, /Lt^ Tpiox^Xiojv 2 
erchv aTTopdXrj 86£av 6 tottos Kal tov xprjoTrjpiov 
Ka9a7Tep oocf>LGTov hiaTpifirjs a7ro<f>oiTr)cra>criv eVtot 
KaTa<f>povrjoavT€S , airoXoyovpLeda Kal rrXaTTopiev 
atTtas /cat Xoyovs virep a>v ovr lapizv ovr 
elotvai 7rpoarJKov rjpuv £gtc, 7rapap,v9ov(ji€VOL tov 
tyKaXoVVTa Kal 7T€l9oVT€S, ov ^atpetv €0»VT€?* 

avTto yap 1 ol TTptoTov dvirjpeorepov 6 carat 

E TOiaVTTJV €)(OVTl 7T€pl TOV 9eOV 86£aV, W0TT€ TaUTt 

pLev tcl TrpoyeypapLfxeva tcov oo(f)a)V to ' yvco9i oav- 
tov * /cat to * fjLrjSev dyav * a7roSe^ea0at /cat 9av- 
/xa£ety ovx rJKtGTa 8ta tt)v fipaxvXoyiav d>s ttvkvov 
Kal ocf>vpr]XaTov vovv ev oXLyco TTepi£x ovaav oyKcp, 

1 to KaQr\Kov irXrjpoGv F.C.B. (aAq&tas Turnebus) to fill a 
lacuna in the mss. 2 €K€iw}s F.C.B. : eKeivrj. 

3 rptaxiXUav Leonicus : rpioxiopov. 

4 yap] p.iv Homer. 

5 avirqpioTtpov Homer, Od. ii. 190 : di'iyporcpoi'. 

a Adapted from Homer, Od. ii. 190. 
338 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 408 

tant consultations on the part of States concern the 
yield from crops, the increase of herds, and public 
health — to clothe such things in verse, to devise 
circumlocutions, and to foist strange words upon 
inquiries that call for a simple short answer is the 
thing done by an ambitious pedant embellishing an 
oracle to enhance his repute. But the prophetic 
priestess has herself also nobility of character, and 
whenever she descends into that place and finds 
herself in the presence of the god, she cares more for 
fulfilling her function than for that kind of repute or 
for men's praise or blame. 

29. " We also, perhaps, ought to have this frame of 
mind. But as it is, we act as if we were anxious and 
fearful lest the place here lose the repute of its three 
thousand years, and some few persons should cease 
to come here, contemning the oracle as if it were 
the lecturing of some popular speaker ; and we offer 
a plea in defence and invent reasons and arguments 
for matters which we do not understand, and which 
it is not fitting that we should understand. We 
try to appease and win over the man who com- 
plains, instead of bidding him take his leave for all 
time, 

Since for himself first of all it will prove to be more 
distressing/* 

if the opinion which he holds about the god is 
such that he can accept and admire the maxims b of 
the Wise Men inscribed here, 'Know thyself and 
* Avoid extremes,' because of their conciseness 
especially, since this very conciseness contains in 
small compass a compact and firmly-forged senti- 

1 Of. Moralia, 164 b, 385 d, 511 a. 

339 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

rovs Be xp^^t-iovs on avvTOfJLcus /cat olttAws /cat St' 
evdetas rd rrXeiara cfrpd^ovow alrtaaOaL. /cat rd 
rotavra puev diro^deypiara rwv oo<f)U)V ravro roZs 
els orevov ovvdXifSeZoi TrenovOe pevfxacrLV ov yap 
e^ct rod vov hcoifjtv ov8e 8iavyetav , 1 aAA' edv crKOTrfjs 
ri yeypairrai /cat Ae'Ae/crat rrepl avrcov roZs ottojs 
eKaorov ex ei fSovXop,evois Karap^adeZv, ov pahiojs 

F rovrojv Xoyovs erepovs evprjaeis fiaKporepovs. rj 
8e rrjs HvOlas StaAe/CTOS", cownep oi /xa^/xart/cot 
ypafjLfirjv evOeZav koXovol rr)v eXaxlvrrjv rcov ra 
aura rtepar exovotov, ovrojs ov Troiovaa KafJLTrrjv 
ovSe kvkXov ovhe hnrXo-qv ouS' a/x^tjSoAtay dAA' 
evOeZa 7Tpog ttjv aXrjdeiav ovaa irpos Se Trior lv em- 
o<f>aXr)s /cat vnevOvvos 2 ovSeva /ca#' avrrjs eXeyxov 
aXP 1 v ^ v wapoScSciMCCV, avadrjfjidrcov Se /cat hcopcov 
409 ip,7T€7TXr)K€ fSapfiapiKcov /cat f EAA^vt/ca)v to XP 7 ) 01 "*}' 
piov y olKoSojJLrjfjidrojv 8' eVt/ce/coatx/^/ce 3 /caAAecrt /cat 
KaraoKevaZs 'A/x<£t/CTi;oi't/cats\ Spare Stfrrovdev av- 
rol 7ToXXd p,ev eVe/crtcr/xeVa raV irporepov ovk ovrwv, 
7roAAa S' dVetA^tt/xeVa rdv ovyKexvfAevojv /cat St- 
e<j>dapnevu)v. ojs Se rots' evOaXeac ra>v SevSpcov 
erepa Trapa^Xaordvet, /cat rots: AeX(j)oZs rj IIuAat'a 
avvrjfia /cat crvvavafioo Kei 'at, Sta to.? evrevdev 
evnopias o^jita XapL^dvovaa /cat p,op(f)r]v /cat /coo- 
/xov lepcov /cat avvehpiojv /cat i5Sara)v otov eV ^tAt'ot? 

B erect Tot? rrporepov ovk eXafiev. 

1 Stauyctav added by Turnebus to fill a lacuna in the mss. 

2 av€mo<f>aXf)$ Kal avvnevdwos Madvig ; but cf. 484 c. 

3 8' inLKeKoafirjKC F.C.B. (8c KaraKeKoofiriKe Schwartz; Se 
K€KaXXa)7TLK€ Paton ; 8' €KaXXa)Tno€ Bernardakis ; all much the 
same): 8e\ 

340 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 408-409 

ment, and yet he can impeach the oracles because 
they give nearly all their communications in brief, 
simple, and straightforward language. Now such 
sayings as these of the Wise Men are in the 
same case with streams forced into a narrow 
channel, for they do not keep the transparency 
or translucence of the sentiment, but if you will 
investigate what has been written and said about 
them by men desirous of learning fully the why and 
wherefore of each, you will not easily find more 
extensive writings on any other subject. And as 
for the language of the prophetic priestess, just as 
the mathematicians call the shortest of lines between 
two points a straight line, so her language makes no 
bend nor curve nor doubling nor equivocation, but is 
straight in relation to the truth ; yet, in relation to 
men's confidence in it, it is insecure and subject to 
scrutiny, but as yet it has afforded no proof of its 
being wrong. On the contrary, it has filled the 
oracular shrine with votive offerings and gifts from 
barbarians and Greeks, and has adorned it with 
beautiful buildings and embellishments provided 
by the Amphictyonic Council. You yourselves, of 
course, see many additions in the form of buildings 
not here before and many restored that were dilapi- 
dated and in ruins. As beside flourishing trees 
others spring up, so also does Pylaea a grow in vigour 
along with Delphi and derives its sustenance from 
the same source ; because of the affluence here it is 
acquiring a pattern and form and an adornment of 
shrines and meeting-places and supplies of water such 
as it has not acquired in the last thousand years. 

a A suburb of Delphi, presumably on the road to the 
Crisa. meeting-place of the Amphictyonic Council. 

341 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(409) " Ot fxev ovv Trepl to YaXd^tov rfj$ Botama? 
kcltoikovvt€s fjodovTo tov deov tj)v e7n(j>dv€iav 
d(j)dovia /cat irepiovoia ydXaKTos' 

TTpofiaruiv 1 yap £k rravTajv KeXdpv^zv, 

d)S diro Kprjvav 2 <f>iprarov vSrop, 

daXeov* yaAa* rot 8* €7u/x7rAai' 4 iaovfievot rrlOovs* 

aCTKOS 8' OVT€ Tt? dpi<j>Op€VS iXlVV€ b Sd/ZOt?, 
7rcAAat &e £vXivoll* 7TL0OL T€ 7 7rX&O0€V 6 airaVTCS . 

rjfjLLV &€ XajJL7rp6r€pa /cat Kpelrrova /cat aa^earepa 
arj/jLeta tovtojv dvahlhcxxjiv , tboirep i£ avxp^ov rrjs 
TTpoodev iprjfjiias /cat Trevias zviroplav /cat Aa/x- 
7rp6rr)ra /cat Tijj,r)v 7T€7TOLr)Kws* /catrot <£tAa> )u.ev 
C e\iavrov i<f)* ol$ eyevofjLrjv etV tcc 7rpdypiara 
tolvtcl rrpodvpios /cat XP 7 ] 01 ^ ^ j^ 67 *** II oAu/cpdVous 1 
/cat rier/oatov, <£tAa> Se rov Kadrjyefjiova ravry]s rrjs 
7roAtT€tas y€vopi€vov rjfiLV /cat ra TrAetcrra roura/r 
€K<f>povri^ovra /cat rrapauKevd^ovra * * * aAA' ov/c 
earw oiXXcos 7ror€* T7]XiKavT7)v /cat roaavr-qv /zera- 
fioXrjv ev oXiycp \povcp yeviadat St* dv6pu)7rivr]s 
inipicA^ias , fir) Oeov rrapovTos ivravOa /cat ow- 
€7TtdeLd£,OVTOS to xP 7 ] GTr ]P L0V '• 

30. AAA tuoTrep ev tols tot€ xP ovol S r)aav ol 
ttjv Xo^OTTjTa TOiv xpr}op,<x)v /cat dod<f>eiav atrta^- 
^tevot, /cat j/i?i> €tau> ot to Atav a7rAouv gvko^clvtovv- 

1 irpopdrcov Leonicus : 7rpo7rdvra>v, 

2 KpTjvdv Bergk : Kpnvda>v. 

3 0aAeov F.C.B. : lijAcov. 

4 inifiirXav F.C.B. : eviftirXuiv. 

5 eAtvue Bergk : cAtWve. 

8 fvAtvat Wilamowitz-M Ollendorff : (uAivou 

7 t€ added by Bergk before itL&oi. 

8 irXaaOev Bergk : nXijaOev. 

9 irork Michael ; It*. Wyttenbach : on.. 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 409 

11 They that lived in the neighbourhood of Galaxium 
in Boeotia became aware of the manifest presence of 
the god by reason of the copious and overabundant 
flow of milk a : 

From all the flocks and all the kine 
Like purest water from the springs 
Milk in abundance welling down 
Made music in the milking-pails. 
And all the folk in eager haste 
Filled every household vessel full ; 
Wineskin and jar were put to use, 
Each wooden pail and earthen tun. 

But for us the god grants clearer, stronger, and 
plainer evidence than this by bringing about after a 
drought, so to speak, of earlier desolation and poverty, 
affluence, splendour, and honour. It is true that I 
feel kindly toward myself in so far as my zeal or 
services may have furthered these matters with the 
co-operation of Polycrates and Petraeus b ; and I 
feel kindly toward the man who has been the leader 
in our administration and has planned and carried 
out practically all that has been done. c But it is not 
possible that a change of such sort and of such magni- 
tude could ever have been brought about in a short 
time through human diligence if a god were not 
present here to lend divine inspiration to his oracle. 

30. " But, just as in those days there were people 
who complained of the obliquity and vagueness of 
the oracles, so to-day there are people who make 
an unwarranted indictment against their extreme 

° Cf. Bergk, Poet. Lyr. Graec. iii. p. 719, Adespota, no. 
90; Pindar, Frag. 101-102 ed. Christ; Wilamowitz- 
M Ollendorff, Hermes, xxxiv. p. 225. 

b L. Cassius Petraeus ; cf. Pomtow, Beitrdge zur Topo- 
graphie von Delphi, p. 122. 

c There is a lacuna in the mss. here, but the sense is clear. 

343 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(409) t€$. cov ttcliSikov 1 £oti KOfxtSfj Kal afiiXrzpov TO 
Trados* Kal yap oi iraloes Lpcoas pL&AAov /cat aAco? 
koI KoixrjTas fj oeAijvrjv Kal rjAiov 6pa)VT€s yeyrjdaai 
D kol ayarraxn, Kal ovtol tcl alviyp,ara Kal ras 
aAArjyoplas Kal rag p,€Ta<f)opa$ 2 rrjs fJLavTLKrjs, aVa- 
KAacreis ovoas 77/509 to Ovtjtov Kal <f>avTaoTiKov , 
i7TL7To6ovat' Kav tt]v aiTiav fXTj iKavtos TTvdiOVTat, TTJS 
fieTafioArjs , aTTiacn 70V 6eov KaTayvovTCS , ov\ rjnajv 
ovS' avTow* (Ls aSvvaTOJv ovtojv i^iKveiadai tco 
Aoyiap.ii) rrpos TTju tov 0€ou oidvoiav.** 

1 rraidiKoi' Wyttenbach : Kal aSiKov. 

2 Kal ras fi€ra<f>opas Leonicus: t^s" /xera<£o/>as« 

3 avrwv Bernardakis: avrwv. 



344 



THE ORACLES AT DELPHI, 409 

simplicity. Such an attitude of mind is altogether 
puerile and silly. It is a fact that children take more 
delight and satisfaction in seeing rainbows, haloes, and 
comets than in seeing moon and sun ; and so these 
persons yearn for the riddles, allegories, and meta- 
phors which are but reflections of the prophetic art 
when it acts upon a human imagination. And if 
they cannot ascertain to their satisfaction the reason 
for the change, they go away, after pronouncing 
judgement against the god, but not against us nor 
against themselves for being unable by reasoning to 
attain to a comprehension of the god's purpose." 



84,5 



THE OBSOLESCENCE OF 
ORACLES 

(DE DEFECTU ORACULORUM) 



INTRODUCTION 

Plutarch *s answer to the question why many 
oracles in Greece hav,^ ceased to function is that the 
population is now much less than it was, and so there 
is less need for oracles now than in earlier times. 
For example, at Delphi there used to be two pro- 
phetic priestesses with a third held in reserve ; now 
there is only one, and yet she is sufficient for every 
need. 

The statement of this simple fact hardly requires 
twenty-nine folio pages, but in this essay, as in the 
two preceding, there is much of the conversation of 
cultured persons which is not directly connected with 
the subject. Thus we find a discussion of whether 
the year is growing shorter, whether the number of 
the worlds is one or some number not more than five 
or is one hundred and eighty-three. We have further 
discussion of the number five, some astronomy, and 
a good deal of geometry, some interesting bits of 
information about Britain and the East and a rather 
long discussion of the daimones, the beings a little 
lower than the gods and considerably higher than 
mortals ; perhaps the translation * demi-gods ' might 
best convey the idea in English. These beings are 
thought by many persons to be in charge of the 
oracles ; certainly the god himself does not appear 
personally at his oracles ; and in the case of the 
348 



THE OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES 

oracle at Delphi some account is given of the acci- 
dental discovery by a shepherd of the peculiar 
powers of the exhalation from the cleft in the 
rocks. 

Students of English literature will be interested in 
the dramatic description of the announcement of the 
death of Pan ; and students of religion will be in- 
terested in the essay as a very early effort to recon- 
cile science and religion. That the essay had an 
appeal to theologians is clear from the generous 
quotations made from it byEusebius andTheodoretus. 
We could wish that they had quoted even more, 
since their text is usually superior to that contained 
in the manuscripts, which in some places are quite 
hopeless. The mss. have also an unusual number of 
lacunae. Much has been done in the way of correc- 
tion, sometimes perhaps too much, since Plutarch's 
thought is not always necessarily so logical as the 
editors would make it. 

Some parts of the essay make rather difficult 
reading, but it also contains passages of considerable 
interest and even beauty. 

The essay is No. 88 in Lamprias 's list of Plutarch's 
works. 

The conversation is professedly narrated by 
Plutarch's brother Lamprias to Terentius Priscus, 
but some have thought that Plutarch has used the 
person of Lamprias to represent himself, possibly 
because of the official position held by Plutarch at 
Delphi. 



349 



IIEPI 
TON EKAEAOinOTQN XPHETHPIHN 

TA IIPOSimA TOT AIAAOrOT 

AAMIIPIAS, KAEOMBPOTO2, AIATM02, *IAinn02, 
AHMHTPIOS, AMMXiNIOS, HPAKAEHN 1 

E 1. 'Aerous" rwas rj kvkvovs, cj TepeVrte HplaK€ ) 
fivdoXoyovaiv dno tcjv aKpcjv rijs yfjs em to 
fjL€crov (frepofJLevovs els rauro ovfATreaeiv HvOol 

F 7T€/>t t6j> KaXovfxevov 6fJL<f>a\6v vcrrepov he XP^W 
tov Qalonov 9 ETnfjL€vt8rjv iXeyxovra rov fivdov im 
rod 6eov /cat Xaftovra ^p^cr/xo^ doa<f>rj Kal a/x<£t- 

fioXoV €L7T€LV 

ovre yap fjv yairjs 2 fieaos ofi(f>aX6s ov8e BaXdaarjs' 
ct Se res eaTt, OeoLS SijXos Ovtyroioi S* a<f>avTOS* 

€K€lVOV JX€V OVV €Lk6t(X)S 6 dtOS 7]jXVVaTO fivdov 

410 7raXaiov Kaddnep ^aiypacfrrjfiaTos d(/>fj 8ia7reioa>- 
p,€vov. (2.) oXiyov oc *npo IlvOlcov rcov cm 
KaXXiarpdrov /caff' rjfias dno twv evavricov rrjs 
oiKovfiev-qs irepdrcov ervxov dvSpes Upol Svo ovvSpa- 

1 TA nPOSQnA . . . HPAKAEftN not in the mss. 
2 yai-qs Xylander : yrjs. 
350 



THE OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES 

(The persons taking part in the conversation are : Lam- 
prias, Demetrius, Cleombrotus, Ammonius, Philip, Didy- 
mus, and Heracleon.) 

1. The story is told, my dear Terentius Priscus, 
that certain eagles or swans, flying from the utter- 
most parts of the earth towards its centre, met in 
Delphi at the omphalus, as it is called ; and at a later 
time Epimenides b of Phaestus put the story to test 
by referring it to the god and upon receiving a vague 
and ambiguous oracle said, 

Now do we know that there is no mid-centre of earth or of 

ocean ; 
Yet if there be, it is known to the gods, but is hidden from 

mortals. 

Now very likely the god repulsed him from his attempt 
to investigate an ancient myth as though it were a 
painting to be tested by the touch. (2.) Yet a short 
time before the Pythian games, which were held 
when Callistratus c was in office in our own day, it 
happened that two revered men coming from opposite 
ends of the inhabited earth met together at Delphi , 

° The numerous other references to this story may be 
found most conveniently in Frazer's Pausanias, v. p. 315. 

6 Diels, Frag, der Vorsokratiker, ii. p. 191, Epimenides, 
no. b 11. 

e The year 83-84 a.d. 

351 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(410) }jl6vt€s eh AeX<f)OVS, A-qfi-qrpLos fiev 6 ypapufiaTiKog 
ei< QpeTTavtas els Tapaov avaKOfii^ofievos otKaSe, 
KXeopiftpoTos 8' 6 AaKeSaipLovtos, ttoXXol fxev ev 

AlyVTTTCp Kal TT€pl T7JV TpOJyXoSvTLKTjV yf]V 7T€- 

irXaviqpievos , rroppa) Se rijs 'EpvQp&s OaXdrrrj^ 
avarrtTTXevKtbs ov /car' eparopiav, dXX dvrjp cf)iXo- 
OedfAwv cov 1 Kal (friXofiadrjs 2 over lav 8' eyoiv iKavfjV 
/cat to rrXeiova tcdv, Ikolvojv ex €LV ovk a£iov ttoXXov 

B ttolovjjlzvos ixpfjro rfj (JxoXrj npos rd roiavra, Kal 
ovvrjyev loropiav olov vXtjv (f)LXoao(/>Lag deoXoyiav 
a>G7T€p avros eKaXei reXos exovcrrjg. vcojotI 8e ye- 
yovojs Trap* "AfjifUDva, rd {lev aAAa tojv eKel SrjXos 
r\v fXTj Trdvv re^au/xa/ccus", rrepl Se rod Xv^yov rod 
dofSeuTov Strjyetro Xoyov d^iov a7Tov$rjs Xeyofievov 
vito rcx)v lepewv. del yap kXarrov avaXlaKetv eXaiov 
erovs eKaorov, Kal rovro TTOieladai TeKfjLrjpLov eKei- 
vovs rrjg ra>v eviavTOJV dvajpuaXias, tov k'repov 3 tov 
irpodyovTOS del rep xpovo) ^pa^vrepov ttoiovotis' 
elKos yap ev eXdrrovi xpovcp to Sanava) puevov 
eXaTTOV etvat,. 

C 3. Qavp,aadvTa>v Se tcov rrapovTOJV, tov 8e A77- 
fj,rjTpiov Kal yeXotov ^rjuavTos elvai aTro p,iKpG)v 
TrpayfiaTOJV ovtco fieydXa drjpav, ov KaT 'KXkoZov 
" e£ ovvxps tov XeovTa " ypdcfrovTas, aAAa, dpvaX- 
Ai'St Kal Xvxvw tov ovpavov opuov Kal ra 4 ovparavTa 
liediGTavTas Kal ttjv fjLa9r]p,aTLKr}v apo7]v dv- 
aipovvTas. 

1 a>v added by H. Richards. 

2 faXofiaOrjs an early correction : <f>iXo<t>av7]s» 

3 €Ttpov] varepov Turnebus. 4 Kal ra] rt in most mss. 

Cf. Inscript. Graec. xiv. no. 2548 Scots' rots rov yytp-ovi- 
kov TlpaiTcopLov 2fcptj3<amos> (others OKpifia) Arju^rpios and 
352 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 410 

Demetrius a the grammarian journeying homeward 
from Britain to Tarsus, and Cleombrotus of Sparta, 
who had made many excursions in Egypt and about 
the land of the Cave-dwellers, and had sailed beyond 
the Persian Gulf; his journeyings were not for 
business, but he was fond of seeing things and 
of acquiring knowledge ; he had wealth enough, 
and felt that it was not of any great moment to 
have more than enough, and so he employed his 
leisure for such purposes ; he was getting together 
a history to serve as a basis for a philosophy that had 
as its end and aim theology, as he himself named it. 
He had recently been at the shrine of Ammon, and 
it was plain that he was not particularly impressed by 
most of the things there, but in regard to the ever- 
burning lamp he related a story told by the priests 
which deserves special consideration ; it is that the 
lamp consumes less and less oil each year, and they 
hold that this is a proof of a disparity in the years, 
which all the time is making one year shorter in 
duration than its predecessor ; for it is reasonable 
that in less duration of time the amount consumed 
should be less. 

3. The company was surprised at this, and Deme- 
trius went so far as to say that it was ridiculous to try 
in this way to draw great conclusions from small data, 
not, as Alcaeus b puts it, " painting the lion from a 
single claw," but with a wick and lamp postulating a 
mutation in the heavens and the universe, and doing 
away completely with mathematical science. 

f Q.K€av<o Kal Tt}0ui Aij/xifrpKo^ . C/. also Huebner, Ephemerls 
Epigr. iii. 312 ; Clark, Archaeol. Jour. xlii. p. 4,25 ; Dessau, 
in Hermes, xlvi. (1911) pp. 156 ff. 
6 Bergk, Poet, Lyr. Qraec. iii. p. 184, Alcaeus, no. 113. 

353 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(410) *0 KAeo/xjSporos', " ovSerepov, 1 " e<f>r] s " tovtcov 
Siarapd^et tovs dv8pas' dXXd tols fxadrjjjLaTiKo'is 
ovx v<f>^aovrac rfjs aKpipetas, cos jjl&XXov civ €/c€t- 
vovs 8ta<f>vyovTa tov ^povov ev Kivrjoecrt /cat irepi- 
68ois ovro) iidKpav dcfreoTcoocus rj to fierpov clvtovs 
rod eXaiov TrpoaiyovTas del 8ta ttjv droTrlav ra> 
D 7rapaA6ya) /cat Trapa^vXarrovras . to 8e /zt/cpa firj 
SiSoVat crcy/zeta ylyveaOai fieydXcov, a> AT]fJLrJTpi€, 
7roAAats" €ottl TexvcLiS ifirroScov, irrel /cat ttoXXcjv 
pukv dnoSec^eLs TTapaipeZoOai ovfifirjoeTai ttoXXwv 
Se TTpoayopevoeis . /catrot /cat rjjjuv ov puKpov oVo- 
SeitcvvTC 2 7Tpayjj,a, XealveoOat £vpa> tol aoj/xara 
tovs 7)pcoas, ivrvx6vT€s 7rap' 3 'Ofirjptp £vpov oVo/za- 
oavTL' /cat Sa^et^etv inl tokols, ort ttov ' XP^ os 
o'^eAAeaflat/ 4 (frrjotv, ' ovti veov ovV dXLyov, djs 
tov ocfreXXeodai 6 to avgeoOcu StjXovvtos. avdts 8k 
ttjv vvktcl ' Oorjv ' zIttovtos, dyair-qTcbs ificfrveoQe* Tip 

pTjpLaTl' /Cat TOVT* €K€LVO <j)aT€, (f>pd^€odaL TTJV OKLCLV 

E Trjs yfjs VTT* avTov kojvlktJv, ovoav dno o<f>atpo- 
et,8ovs. laTpiKrjv Se Aot/xcuSe? 6 epos dpayyixav irXridei. 
7rpo8rjXovv, /cat dpiois eapivols otolv Kopojvqs ttoolv 1 
ct/ccAa yevrjTai, tls idoet to>v d£iovvTu>v puKpd 
orjpLeia p,r) yiyveoOai twv pL€ydXojv; tls 8* aW^erat 

1 ovhirepov] ovhkv in most mss. 

2 a-rrobtlianrre Meziriacus : airohziKwrat. 

3 nap* Madvig: yap. 

4 d<£eAAe(70<H Homer, Od. iii. 367 : avfipdWevBai. 

5 ibid. : wfeXctoOai. 

8 efufrvtade) ifitfrveodai, most mss. 

7 noalv Stegmann, from Hippocrates, Epidemics, vi. (vol. v. 
p. 342 Littre) : ttoSi. 

• II. x. 173. 6 Od. iii. 367-368. 

354 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 410 

" Neither of these things," said Cleombrotus, 
" will disturb these men ; certainly they will not 
concede any superior accuracy to the mathematicians, 
since it is more likely that a set period of time, in 
movements and cycles so far away, should elude 
mathematical calculation than that the measurement 
of the oil should elude the very men who were always 
giving careful attention to the anomaly and watch- 
ing it closely because of its strangeness. Besides, 
Demetrius, not to allow that small things are indica- 
tion of great stands directly in the way of many arts ; 
for it will result in taking away from us the demonstra- 
tion of many facts and the prognostication of many 
others. Yet you people try to demonstrate to us 
also a matter of no small importance : that the heroes 
of old shaved their bodies with a razor, because you 
meet with the word * razor ' in Homer a ; also that 
they lent money on interest because Homer 6 some- 
where says that * a debt is owing, not recent nor 
small,' the assumption being that ' owing ' signifies 
4 accumulating/ And again when Homer c speaks of 
the night as ' swift/ you cling to the expression with 
great satisfaction and say that it means this : that the 
Earth's shadow is by him called conical, being caused 
by a spherical body ; and as for the idea that medical 
science can predict a pestilential summer by a multi- 
tude of spiders' webs or by the fig-leaves in the spring 
when they are like crows' feet, who of those that 
insist that small things are not indications of great 
will allow this to go unchallenged ? Who will endure 

e II. x. 394, for example ; cf. also Moralia, 923 b. Further 
explanation of the idea that doos may mean " conical M may 
be found in the Life and Poetry of Homer y 21 (Bernardakis's 
edition, vol. vii. p. 347). 

355 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

trpos ^ow /cat kotvXtjv vSaros to tov rjXlov [xeyedos 
jxerpovjxevov, rj rrjg evravda ttXivOL&os tjv ttoui 
yojviav o^elav /ce/cAt/xeVrjy rrpos to IttLttc^ov fierpov 
etvai Xeyopevrjv tov e^apparos o i^rjprai tluv ttoXcop 
6 del <j>avep6$ diro tov opi^ovTos ; rairra yap 
rjv aKovew tGjv eKeZ 7rpo(j)y]TCx)v, loot* dXXo tl Xeye- 

F cfBq} 1 TTpos avrovs, el f$ovX6pe9a to) rjXico koltq 
tol TraTpia tv)V vevopuopevr]v rd£iv dnapdfiaTov 
TTOirjoat,. 2 " 

4. TLapcov ovv dv€<f>a)vr}0€v 'A/x/xaiviog 6 <f>iX6- 
oocfios " ov Tip rjXia) puovov," elrrev? " dXXd TO) ovpav<x 
TTCLVTi. avoTeXXeoOat yap dvdyKrj ttjv diro Tpontoi 
411 inl Tponds irdpohov avrov Kal jjltj oiapeveiv tj]Xi- 
kovto pepos ovoav tov opi^ovTos tjXlkov ol padrj- 
paTiKol Xeyovow, aXX iXdrrova yiyveodai, del 4 
77/30? to. fiopeia tcov votlojv ovvaytoyrjv XapfSavov- 
tojv, Kal to depos rjpZv fSpayvTepov Kal tfjvxpoTepov 5 
ewai ttjv Kpaoiv, iuSoTepo) KapTTTovTos avrov /cat 
pecovojv* TrapaXXrjXojv e<f>aTTTopevov toZs TpoTTiKols 
o-qpeiois' ert he tovs p>ev ev Hvijvr) yvtbpovas 
doKiovs /x^/cert (fraiveodai irepl Tponds Oepivas ttoX- 
Xovs Se VTToSeSpapLrjKevaL tlov dirXavtov doTeptov, 
Iviovs ok xfjaveiv Kal ovyKexvodat irpos dXXrjXovs, 

B rou oiaOTripi,at os eKXeXonroTos . €t 8' av cfirjoovoi 
tcov dXXajv opuotajs eypvTixiv dWaKTeZv rats' Kivqaeot 

1 XcyeaOco F.C.B. : Xcyovrcou; others keep AeyoVra>v and read 

ol povXofjLevoi. 2 rroirjoai] 7toiovgl in most MSS. 

3 €iiT€v Xylander: cl-ntiv. 4 del del. Stegmann. 

5 ipvxpoTcpov] i/jvxpoT€pav in all mss. but one. 

6 fl€LOVO)U F.C. B. : fL€l£ OVCOV. 

° Syene was on the Tropic of Cancer, and because of the 
fact that on the day of the summer solstice the sun was 
directly overhead it was used by Eratosthenes (third century 
356 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 410-411 

that the magnitude of the sun be measured by refer- 
ence to a quart or a gill, or that, in the sun-dial here, 
the inclination of the acute angle which its shadow 
makes with the level plane be called the measure- 
ment of the elevation of the ever-visible pole above 
the horizon ? This was what one might hear from 
the priests of the prophetic shrine there ; so some 
other rejoinder must be offered to them, if we would 
make for the sun the wonted order of its course 
immutable, in accord with the tradition of the ages." 
4. Thereupon Ammonius the philosopher, who was 
present, exclaimed, " Not for the sun only, but for 
the whole heavens. For the sun's course in passing 
from solstice to solstice must inevitably become 
shorter and not continue to be so large a part of the 
horizon as the mathematicians say it is, since the 
southern portion is constantly subject to a contract- 
ing movement, which brings it closer to the northern 
portion ; and so our summer must become shorter 
and its temperature lower, as the sun turns about 
within narrower limits and touches fewer parallels 
of latitude at the solstitial points ; moreover, the 
phenomenon observed at Syene, a where the upright 
rods on the sun-dials cast no shadow at the time of 
the summer solstice, is bound to be a thing of the 
past ; many of the fixed stars must have gone below 
the horizon, and some of them must be touching one 
another, or have become coalescent, as the space 
separating them has disappeared ! But if, on the 
other hand, they are going to assert that, while all 
the other bodies are without change, the sun displays 

b.c.) as one of the termini in calculating the circumference 
of the Earth. Cleomedes, On the Circular Movement of 
Heavenly Bodies, i. 10, describes Eratosthenes' method. 

357 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(411) TOP 7]XlOV, OVT€ TTjV flOVOV 1 TOVTOV €K TOOOVTCJV €77t- 

ra^vvovaav alriav €C7T€tv e^ovac /cat rd ttoXXcl twv 
<f>acvofJi€Vcx)v avvrapd£ovai, rd Se rrp6s oeX-qvrjv /cat 

TTOLVTCLTTaOW , 0)0T€ (JLTJ heZoddl fJL€TpO)V iAdlOV T7]V 

Scacf>opdv iXeyxovTcuv . at yap iKXelifjas eXey^ovcnv 
avrov re rfj aeXrjvrj ttXcovolkls iTnfiaXXovros /cat rrjs 
a^XrjViqs yfj cr/ctdV 2 * rd 8' dAAa Sr^Aa 3 /cat ovSev Set 
7T€paiT€pto rrjv dXa^ovelav rod Xoyov SteAtTTeu>." 

' \AAAd /XTp," 'o KXtOflfipOTOS £</>?]> " Kal TO 
Lierpov avrds elSov noXXd ydp eSelKvvaav to 8' 
€7T€T€tov dire'Set rebv TTaXaiordrojv ovk oXlyov" 

C 'YnoXa^ajv 8' avQis 6 'A/zjU-awto?, " ctra tovs 
dXXovs avdpa)7Tovs," eforev, " eXade Trap 1 ols a- 
ofieora dzpaTrevtrai irvpd /cat croj^erat xpovov ^rdv 
cog erros €i7rcLV anetpov; el 8' ofiv V7to6olto rt? 
dXrjdeg etvat to Xeyofxevov, ov fSeXriov ion ijjvxpo- 
ttjtols alndoBal tlvcls /cat vyporrjrag depoov, v<f>* aV 
to irvp LiapatvoLievov sheds ion firj Kparetv rroXXrjs 
/.triSe Sctcrtfat rpo<f>rjs y tj rovvavriov ^y]p6rrjrag /cat 
9 €pp,6T7)T as ; 17877 ydp d/c^/coa Xeyovroov nvcov rrepl 
rod 7Tvp6s, obs iv xeifiajVL /catVrat fieXnov vtto 
pojpLrjs ets avrd ovoreXXofievov rfj ijjvxporrjn /cat 
7TVKvovfjL€vov, iv Se rot? avxf^ols i£ao9eveT /cat 

D ylyverai puavov /cat drovov, /caV ev rjXioj /ca^rat, 
X € ?pov ipyd^erai, /cat TTy? uAt^? dnrerai LiaXaK&s 
/cat KaravaXloKei fipdoiov. LidXiora 8* aV rt9 6tV 
auro tt)^ alriav iiravdyoi rovXaiov ov yap drreiKos 

1 fiovov Turnebus: /xovtjv. 2 yfj otcidv F.C.B. : rfj cr/aa. 

3 rd 8' dAAa BrjXa Wyttenbach : to. 8* dAA-jjAa or rd 8' dAAa. 

° C/. Plutarch, Comment, on Hesiod, Works and Days, 559 
(Bernardakis's edition, vol. vii. p. 78). 

358 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 411 

irregularity in its movements, they will not be able 
to state the cause of the acceleration which affects the 
sun alone among so many bodies, and they will throw 
into confusion almost all the celestial mechanics, 
and into complete confusion those relating to the 
moon, so that they will have no need of measures of 
oil to prove the difference. In fact, the eclipses will 
prove it, as the sun more frequently casts a shadow 
on the moon and the moon on the earth ; the other 
facts are clear, and there is no need to disclose in 
further detail the imposture in the argument." 

" But," said Cleombrotus, " I myself actually saw 
the measure ; for they had many of them to show, 
and that of this past year failed to come up to the 
very oldest by not a little." 

" Then," said Ammonius, taking up the argument 
again, " this fact has escaped the notice of the other 
peoples among whom ever-burning fires have been 
cherished and kept alive for a period of years which 
might be termed infinite ? But on the assumption 
that the report is true, is it not better to assign the 
cause to some coldness or moisture in the air by which 
the flame is made to languish, and so very likely does 
not take up nor need very much to support it ? Or, 
quite the reverse, may we assign the cause to spells of 
dryness and heat ? In fact, I have heard people say 
before this regarding fire, that it burns better in the 
winter, being strongly compacted and condensed by 
the cold ; whereas in warm, dry times it is very weak 
and loses its compactness and intensity, and if it burns 
in the sunlight, it does even worse, and takes hold of 
the fuel without energy, and consumes it more slowly. 
Best of all, the cause might be assigned to the oil 
itself; for it is not unlikely that in days of old it 

359 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

ian rrdAai /xeV arpo<f>ov Kal vharwoes etvac, yevvoj- 
pbevov e/c <f>vrd8os veas, vorepov Se Trerropcevov eV 
reXelois Kal ovviordpevov duo uArjOovg toov p,dXAov 
lcrxv€LV Kal Tpe(f)€LV fieArtov , ei Set 1 7*019 'A/x/zoWots' 
dvaotptjCiv Kaluep drouov Kal dAAoKorov ovaav rrjv 

VUOU€OLV. 

5. YVavoapivov Se rod 'A/z/xaWou, " paAXovJ* 
e</>7p eyoi, " 7T€pl rod pavrelov 8UA6' rjplv, to 

E KAeopfipore* peyaAr) yap rj uaAata 8d£a rrjs e/cet 
QeioTTjTos, ra Se ruy eoiK€v iuopiapaiveodai" 

Tov Se KAeopufipoTov cnojuojvros Kal Kara) /3Ae'- 
7tovtos,6 ArjpLrjrpLos, " ov&ev," e^rj, " Set uepl ra>v 
e/cec uvvddveoOai Kal hiauopziv rrjv ivravda rd>v 
Xpr)OT7)pia>v dpiavpojoiv pidAAov Se uArjv ivos r) Svolv 
dudvrwv efcAeu/uy 6pa)vras, dAA* €K€ivo OKouelv, 81' 
rjv air lav ovrais i^rjaOevrjKe. ra yap aXAa rl Sit 
Aeyeiv, ouov ye 2 rrjv Boiatrlav eVe/ca xP r ] <JTr ]P^ OJV 

F uoAv<f>a)vov ovcrav iv rots uporepov xpovots vvv em- 
AeAotue KopuSfj KaOduep vdpara, Kal uoAvs €U- 
€U)(rjK€ pLavrLKrjs avxpos rrjv x^P av > ovSapuov yap 
dAAaxdOi vvv rj uepl* AejSdSeiav 4 rf Botcorta uapex ei 
rots xPTI^ ovaLV dpvoaodai pavriKrjs, rcov 8' dAAcoy 
412 ra pev oiyrj ra Se uavreArjg eprjpla Kareox^jKe. 
Kalroi ye uepl ra M^Si/cd TroAAd 6 pev evSoKcprjcre, 
ro Se TLrcoov 1 ovx rjrrov 7) ro rod ' Ap,(f)idpeaf ■ 

1 ci Sci Meziriacus: IScc. 

2 ye is found in Eusebius (Praep. Ev. v. 17) only. 

3 7T€pl in Eusebius only. 

4 Ae/3a8€iav] AcjSaSt'a in most mss. 

5 r) Basel ed. of 1542: rj. 

6 7roAAd added by F.C.B. to fill a lacuna. 

7 to he Htwov first suggested by Wyttenbach (in the gen. 
case). * 'A/i^ia/>€a> Wyttenbach : dfi<f>idp€0)s. 

360 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 411-412 

contained incombustible material and water, being 
produced from young trees ; but that later, being 
ripened on full-grown trees and concentrated, it 
should, in an equal quantity, show more strength and 
provide a better fuel, if the people at Ammon's shrine 
must have their assumption preserved for them in 
spite of its being so strange and unusual." 

5. When Ammonius had ceased speaking, I said, 
" Won't you rather tell us all about the oracle, 
Cleombrotus ? For great was the ancient repute of 
the divine influence there, but at the present time it 
seems to be somewhat evanescent." 

As Cleombrotus made no reply and did not look up, 
Demetrius said, " There is no need to make anv 
inquiries nor to raise any questions about the state 
of affairs there, when we see the evanescence of the 
oracles here, or rather the total disappearance of all 
but one or two ; but we should deliberate the reason 
why they have become so utterly weak. What need 
to speak of others, when in Boeotia, which in former 
times spoke with many tongues because of its oracles, 
the oracles have now failed completely, even as if they 
were streams of flowing water, and a great drought in 
prophecy has overspread the land ? For nowhere 
now except in the neighbourhood of Lebadeia has 
Boeotia aught to offer to those who would draw from 
the well-spring of prophecy. As for the rest, silence 
has come upon some and utter desolation upon others. 
And yet at the time of the Persian Wars many had 
gained a high repute, that of Ptoan Apollo no less 
than that of Amphiaraiis ; Mys, as it seems, made 

361 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(412) aiT€7T€ipaQr) fxev ojg eoiKev apL<f>oTepojv Mu?. 1 6 ucp 
ovv tov fxavrelov 7rpo<f>rJT7]s (f>covfj AloXcSc xp^f 1 ^ ^ 

TO TTplV* TOT€* 7TpOOT<is A TtdV fSapfSapOJV Xpr/a/ZoV 

igrjveyKev, coorc p,rfieva £vv€ivcu aXXov* tGxv irap- 
ovrwv dXXd p,6vov 7 €K€ivov, ojs SrjXov ov c/c 8 tov 
ivdovoriaopLov tov Ttpofyyyrov otl 9 tols fiapfidpois 
ovk eaTiv ov8e7TOT€ 10 cfyojvrjv 'EAAryvt'Sa XafieZv to 

7TpOGTaTTOpL€VOV V7Trjp€TOVOaV. 

' '0 8e irepLcfyOels tls ' Ap,<j>idp€Oj SovXos 11 c'So^e 
/caret Toi>s vitvovs VTrrjpeTTjv tov Oeov <f>av€VTa 
7rpd)Tov piev drro cfrcovfjs eKfidXXeiv avTOv ojs tov 
deov pur) TrapovTos, 12 €7T€ira rat? x € P (JLi; <*>0zw m tni- 
B pitvovTOS Se XlQov evpLeyeOrj AajSoVra tj]V K€<f>aXrjv 
TraTa^ai. tolvtcl S' rjv cboirtp dvTL^cova tu>v yevrj- 
oopLevwv rjTTTjdri yap 6 MapSoVtos", ov fiaoiXeoJS 
aAA' intTpoirov /cat Slclkovov fiaoiXecos rjyovpLtvov 
tu>v 'EAArpaH', /cat At#a> TrXrjyels erreoev, cooTrep 6 
Avhos e8o^€ TrX-qyfjvai /caret tovs vttvovs. 

rl/Cjua^e be tots /cat to 7rept ra? 1 eyvpas 
Xpy\OTr\piov t ottov /cat yeviaBai tov 6eov loTopovoi, 

1 Mfc Madvig and others from Herodotus (earlier in the 
sentence) : <bs. 

2 to npiv F.C.B. to fill a lacuna. 

3 tot€ F.C.B. : to or tw (Madvig puts to'tc rfj later in 
the sentence). 4 irpoaras F.C.B. : irpos tovs. 

5 xP 7 ) a l JL ° v Basel ed. of 1542 : xp-joifjuov. 

6 dXXov F.C.B. ; dcrrwv Wyttenbach : ayuov, 

7 aAAa fiovov Schwartz : ov preceded by a lacuna. 

8 hrjXov ov €k F.C.B. to fill a lacuna. 

* tou irpo^rp-ov on F.C.B. : ti preceded by a lacuna. 

10 ovh€TTOT€ Schwartz : ov oVSotcu. 

11 SouAos] Avhos Wyttenbach from the Life of Aristeides, 
chap. xix. 12 7rapovros] irapUvros Reiske. 



° The mss. show several lacunae and corruptions here ; 
362 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 412 

trial of both. a The prophetic priest of this oracle, 
accustomed in former times to use the Aeolic dialect, 
on that occasion took the side of the barbarians and 
gave forth an oracle such that no one else of those 
present comprehended it, but only Mys himself, since 
it is quite clear from the inspired language then used 
by the prophetic priest that it is not for barbarians 
ever to receive a word in the Greek tongue subservient 
to their command. b 

" The minion who was sent to the oracle of Amphia- 
raiis had, in his sleep c there, a vision of a servant of the 
god who appeared to him and tried first to eject him by 
word of mouth, alleging that the god was not there ; 
then next he tried to push him away with his hands, 
and, when the man persisted in staying, took up a 
large stone and smote him on the head. All this was 
in harmony, as it were, with events to come ; for 
Mardonius was vanquished while the Greeks were 
led, not by a king, but by a guardian and deputy of a 
king d ; and he fell, struck by a stone just as the Lydian 
dreamed that he was struck in his sleep. 

" That time, too, was the most flourishing period of 
the oracle at Tegyrae, which place also by tradition is 
the birthplace of the god ; and of the two streams of 

the general sense must be restored from Herodotus, viii. 
133-135. For some unexplained reason Plutarch in his 
Life of Aristeides, chap. xix. (330 c) and Pausanias, ix. 23, 
lay this scene at the oracle of Trophonius at Lebadeia. 

b Cf. Life of Themistocles, chap. vi. (114 d) ; Life of Cato 
the Elder^ chap, xxiii. (350 c). 

e The oracle of Amphiaraiis was an incubation oracle : 
the consultants went to sleep in the shrine and received 
their answer in dreams. 

d Mardonius was defeated at Plataea in 479 b.c. by the 
Greeks under the command of Pausanias, who was regent 
of Sparta and guardian of Pleistarchus, son of Leonidas. 

363 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(412) /cat vafidrajv hvolv rrapappeovrajv to puev <&olvu«x 
ddrepov 8 'EAatW a<XP L v ^ v °* 1 zvoikol 1 Xeyovow. 

€V jjl€v ovv rots M^St/COt? 'E^€/CpaTOUS' 7TpO<f)rjT€VOV- 

ros dVetAe vLkt\v /cat Kpdrog TToXepiov tols "EAA^aw 
C 6 deos* ev 8e ra> UeXo7Tovv7]oiaKa) 7roAe'/xto ArjXtois 
£ktt€(tovo(, rijs vqoov (f)aal xprjcrpiov €/c AeXcfrtov 
KopLicrdrjvai irpoordrrovra rov roirov dvevpeiv iv to 
yeyovev 6 'AttoXXcov, /cat Bvolas nvds e/cet reXecrai. 
6avpLa£,6vra>v Se /cat 8ta7ropovvrojv el firj Trap 
avrols 6 9e6s aAA' irepooOt yeyovoi, rrjv Tlvdlav 
TTpoaaveXeiv Sri Kopojvrj c/ypdaet to xcoptov avrols * 
aTTLovras ovv iv Xatpojret'a yeviodac, /cat rijs irav- 
8oKevrpias aKovaai 77-009 rivas £4vovs fSa8Lt > ovras 
€ts Tzyvpas 7Tepl rov xpr}arr)plov SiaAeyoueVr/s" 
Ttov 8e %€vojv, ojg aTrfjeoav, daira^opievujv /cat irpoo- 
ayopevovrojv rqv avdpojirov, oTrep ojvopbd^ero, 
D Kopojvrjv, 2 avvetvai to Xoytov, /cat Ovoavras iv rats 
Teyvpais rvx^v kolOoSov /xct oAtyov xP® vov * Y € ~ 
yovaai 8e /cat vecorepai rovrcov eVt</>dVetat irepl 
rd pbavrela ravra, vvv 8* iKXiXonrev ojots rrjv 
air lav d^iov elvai napd rco Hvdito 8ia7ropijoai rijs 
fierafioXijs ." 

6. "HSrj 8e ttojs diro rov veo) Trpotovres cm 
Tat? dvpais rijs K^tStojv Xeoxys iyeyoveupbev nap- 
eXOovres ovv etaoj, rovs (f>iXovs irpos ovs e/JaSt- 
l^opL€v eajptofjuev Kadr)p,ivovs /cat Trepipilvovras rjpL&s' 

1 ol ZvoiKot, F.C.B. ; 'Op^o/xeViot Paton : u>s tvtoi preceded 
by a short lacuna. 

2 07T€p . . . T&Opii)V7)v\ T]TIS . . . KopwVT} E. 

° Plutarch gives more information about Tegyrae in his 
Life of Pelopidas, chap. xvi. (286 b). 

6 In the year 421 b.c. (Thucydides, v. 1). 
364, 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 4,12 

water that flow past it, the inhabitants even to this 
day call the one ' Palm ' and the other * Olive/ 
Now in the Persian Wars, when Echecrates was the 
prophetic priest, the god prophesied for the Greeks 
victory and might in war ; and in the Peloponnesian 
War, when the people of Delos had been driven out 
of their island, 6 an oracle, it is said, was brought to 
them from Delphi directing them to find the place 
where Apollo was born, and to perform certain 
sacrifices there. While they were wondering and 
questioning the mere possibility that the god had been 
born, not in their island, but somewhere else, the 
prophetic priestess told them in another oracle that a 
crow would show them the spot. So they went away 
and, when they reached Chaeroneia, they heard the 
woman who kept their inn conversing about the 
oracle with some strangers who were on their way 
to Tegyrae. The strangers, as they were leaving, 
bade good-bye to the woman and called her by her 
name, which actually was ' Crow/ Then the Delians 
understood the meaning of the oracle and, having 
offered sacrifice in Tegyrae, they found a way to 
return home a short time thereafter. There have 
been also more recent manifestations than these at 
these oracles, but now the oracles are no more ; so 
it is well worth while, here in the precinct of the 
Pythian god, to examine into the reason for the 
change/' 

6. Proceeding onward from the temple, we had 
by this time reached the doors of the Cnidian Club- 
house. Accordingly we passed inside, and there we 
saw sitting and waiting for us the friends to whom 

c In the north-east corner of the sacred precinct. The 
foundations may still be seen. 

365 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

rjv ok tcjv dAAojv rjavxla Sta rrjv wpav aXeicfx)- 
fJL€VO)V Tj 6eCOfJL€VCOV tovs ddArjrds. koll 6 ArjIArjTpLOS 

O O / ail/ y tt * it l *\ » 

ota/zetotaoas', ifjevao fiat, elnrev, 77 ervfxov 

ipeOJ ' ; 8oK€LT€ JJLOL [JL7]$€V a£lOV GK€fJbjJba Sta, xeipcbv 

E *X €lv ' OP*** y^P fy&& av€LfJL€va)S cr<f)68pa KaOrfpiivovs 
/cat SiaKexvpievovs rots' TTpoaojirois" 

€ Y7ToXa^d>v ovv 6 Meyapevg f Hpa/cAe'ojy, " ov yap 

£rjTOVpi€V ," €(/)7], " TO /JaAAa> prjfJLCL TTOTCpOV TWV 8vo 

to ey Aa/x/?Sa /caTa top' pueXXovra xpovov diroAXvoLv, 
ouS' oVo Ttyaw a7rAoji> 6vop,dra)V to xeipov /cat to 
ficAriov Kal to x^ipiOTOv /cat to JUAtioiov eojfij- 
/zdVto*Tat. TavTa yap locos /cat tol TotavTa avv- 

T€LV€l /Cat GVVLGTrjaL TO TTpOGUiTTOV TOL S aAA' €^€OTL 

Tas* 6<f>pvs /caret x c * ) P av ^X 0VTas (j>iAooo(f)€iv /cat 
F ^Telv aTpepua firj Setvov /JAeVofTas' /x^Se x a ^ €7TaL ~ 
yoiTas* rots* irapovoLV." 

" Ae^acfl ouf " o ArjpuJTpios, " rjpias," €(/>r), 

' /cat ^,£0' rjfACov Aoyov, o? St) irpo<T7r€7rra)K€P rjpuv 

oIk€los o)v tov to7tov Kal Sta toV #£oy diraoi 

TTpoorjKoov /cat otto)? ou avvdijere rds 6<f>pvs eVt- 

XtipovvTes. 

7. '£}? o&> dv€fJL€Lx6r]fjL€V Sta/ca#e£o/zeyot /cat 

413 TrpoefiaAev els pcecrov 6 ArjfArJTpLos tov Aoyov, ev9i>s 

avaTrr^hrjoas 6 kvvikos AtSu/xos*, €7tlkAt]oiv IlAa^- 

TidSrjs, Kal Tjj fiaKTTjpia 8ls rj Tpl$ rraTa^as dv- 

eflorjoev, " tou tou, hvoKpurov 7rpay/za /cat tpfyrr^j^cos 

0€OfJL€VOV TToAAtJs T}/C€T€ KO/ttt'£oVT€S' T]jLtty. davp,a- 

otov yap ioTLVy et ToaavTrjs /ca/ctas" V7TOK€xvpi€V7]g p,rj 
jiovov, d)s 7rpo€i7T€v 'HcrtoSos*, AtScus* >cat Nejitco-t? 
to> dvOpcomvov fSlov a7roAeAot7racrti>, aAAa /cat 77/30- 

Homer, Od. iv. 140. b Present jSaAAco, future jSaAa). 
c T^orA;* awrf Day^, 199. 

366 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 412-413 

we were going. There was quiet among the other 
people there because of the hour, as they were engaged 
in taking a rub-down or else watching the athletes. 
Then Demetrius with a smile said, " ' Shall I tell you 
a falsehood or speak out the truth ? ' a You seem to 
have on hand nothing worth considering ; for I see 
that you are sitting about quite at your ease and 
with faces quite relaxed/ ' 

" Yes," said Heracleon of Megara in reply, " for 
we are not investigating which of the two lambdas in 
the verb * hurl ' b is the one that it loses in the future 
tense ; nor from what positives the adjectives * worse ' 
and * better ' and * worst ' and * best ' are formed ; for 
these and similar problems may set the face in hard 
lines, but the others it is possible to examine in a 
philosophic spirit, without knitting the brows, and to 
investigate quietly without any fierce looks or any 
hard feelings against the company/' 

11 Then permit us to come in," said Demetrius, 
11 and with us a subject which has naturally occurred 
to us, one which is related to the place and concerns 
all of us on account of the god ; and beware of 
knitting your brows when you attack it ! " 

7. When, accordingly, we had joined their company 
and seated ourselves among them and Demetrius had 
laid the subject before them, up sprang at once 
the Cynic Didymus, by nickname Planetiades, and, 
striking the ground two or three times with his staff, 
cried out, " Aha ! a difficult matter to decide and one 
requiring much investigation is that which you have 
come bringing to us ! It is indeed a wonder, when 
so much wickedness has been disseminated upon 
earth that not only Modesty and Righteous Indigna- 
tion, as Hesiod c said long ago, have deserted the life 

367 



PLUTARCITS MORALIA 

(413) rota detov avcrK€vaaajjL€vr] ra xpi)OTr)pia TravraxoOev 
ot^erat. rovvavrtov 8* vjxlv iyd> rrpo/JaAAoj Sta- 
TTopijacu 770)9 oi>xl /cat rdS' 1 d7TelprjK€v oi)8' *H/>a- 
/cA^s" olvOls tj tis aAAo? Octov vTreorraKe rov rotrroSa 
B KaTaTTijjLTrAdfxevov aloxp(ov /cat dOeojv epajr^pidrcov, 
a ra> #ecp TTpofidAAovcriv ol (xzv a>s oocf>Lorov Sta- 
7T€Lpav \ap,f5dvovT€s ol Se 77€pt 6r]cravpa)v 77 /cAr/oo- 
voputov rj ydfJLCov 7rapav6fjLOJV SteoojraWes" ojctt£ 
/cara Kpdros i^eAeyxeadat rov Ilvdayopav elirovra 
peXrcarovs eavrcov yiyveodai rovs dvOpconovs, orav 
irpos rovs Oeovs /?aSt£ojcxti>* ovtojs dp* a 2 /caAcos 1 
elxev dvdpajTTOV irpeofivripov jrapovros dpveioBai 
/cat diTOKpvTTreiv voorjp,ara rrjs fax^S /cat TrdOr], 
ravra yvpuvd /cat Treptcfyavrj KopLi^ovaw hri tov 
ueov. 

*Ert 8' avrov /HovAofJievov Aeyeiv, 6 B* 'Hpa/cAca^ 

erreAajSero rov rpifiojvos, /cayoo a^cSov asnavrojv 

C avrtp avvrjdeararos wv, " rrave," ecfrrjv, "ai 0t'Ae 

IIAavryTtaSr/, irapo^vvcov rov 6eov evopy-qros ydp 

ion /cat Trpaos, 

KareKplOr) Se Ovarols dyavcoraros e/z/xei> 

a>S <f>7]criv 6 Tllvoapos. /cat etfi' TyAtds* ioriv etre 
Kvpios rjXtov /cat Trarrjp /cat irreKetva rov oparov 
ttolvtos, ovk et/cds* aTra^iovv (fxxyvrjs tovs vvv dvOpco- 

1 rdS* Madvig: tot'. 
2 ap' a] a/oa in most mss. 

a C/. 387 d, supra, and the note. 
b Cf. 408 c, supra. 

368 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 413 

of mankind, but that Divine Providence also has 
gathered up its oracles and departed from every- 
place 1 Quite the contrary, I propose that you dis- 
cuss how it happens that the oracle here has not also 
given out, and Heracles for a second time, or some 
other god, has not wrested away the tripod a which 
is constantly being occupied with shameful and 
impious questions which people propound b to the 
god, some of whom try to make a test of him as 
though his wisdom were an affectation, while others 

f)ut questions about treasures or inheritances or un- 
awful marriages ; so Pythagoras c is proved to be 
utterly wrong in asserting that men are at their 
best when they approach the gods. Thus those 
maladies and emotions of the soul which it would be 
good to disclaim and conceal in the presence of an 
older man, they bring naked and exposed before 
the god." 

He would have said more, but Heracleon seized 
hold of his cloak, and I, being about as intimate with 
him as anybody, said, " Cease provoking the god, my 
dear Planetiades ; for he is of a good and mild dis- 
position, 

And towards mortal men he hath been judged the most 
gentle, 

as Pindar d says. And whether he be the sun e or 
the lord and father of the sun and of all that lies 
beyond our vision/ it is not likely that he should deny 
his utterance to people of the present day because of 

c C/. Moralia, 169 e. 

d Ibid. 394 a and 1102 e ; Pindar, Frag. 149 (ed. Christ). 
e Cf, 386 b, supra, and the note. 

f The language is reminiscent of i-ntKeiva rrjs ovolas (Plato, 
Republic 509 b). 

369 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(413) ttovs, ols air los goti yeveaeais /cat rpo<f>i]s /cat rov 
elvat /cat (f)pov€tv, ou§' dp-a rrjv rrpovoiav o)OTrep 
evyvojjxova fj/rjrcpa /cat xP r l crT V v ^dvra TTotovaav 
rjfxtv /cat (f>vXdrrovorav ev pLOvj] jjuvrjoiKaKov etvat rfj 
fjiavTLKfj, /cat ravrrjv dfyaipeioQat hovaav ££ dpxfjs, 
CQOTTtp ovyl /cat rore TrXeiovcov ovrojv iv ttXciooiv 

D dvdpOJTTOJV 7TOV7]pU)V, OT€ TToAAa^oflt 1 T7)S OlKOV- 

jjLevrjs xprjarrjpia KadeiorrjKei. Sevpo S77 rrdXiv 
KaOioas /cat irpos rrjv /ca/ctai>, fjv elcodas act to) 
Xoyco /coAd£etv, UvdiKas c/ce^ctpta? aTreiodfJLevos , 
€T€pav Two, pied* rjfjLcbv alriav L^rjT€L rr\s Xeyofxev-qs 
€KXelifjea)S rwv xP r i OTr i? l0}V% T ® v Se Oeov ev^ievrj 
(f>vXarre /cat d\xr]v irov." 

'Eyoj fiev ovv ravr* etTTwv roaovro Ste^/sa^aa^y, 
oorov drreXdelv Sta Ovptov oiconfj rov HXavrjrcdSrjv. 

8. 'Hcn^ta? 8e yevopievrjs eV dAiyoy, o 'A/z/xoj- 
yto? e/xe rrpooayopevaas , M opa rt Trotou/xev," eliTev ) 
" a> AajLt7rpta, /cat 7Tp6oe\e ra> Aoya> tt^v StdVotay, 

E OTTiDS flTj TOV 0€OV dvdVTlOV 7TOIOJJJL6V. 6 ydp d'AAcp 

Ttvt /cat p,^ #eou yvojjxj] rd Travodfjieva twv xprjarr]- 
piosv €kXltt€lv rjyovfjuevos, vrrovoiav 818cool rov jjltj 
yiyveadai fj,r}8* elvat Std rov dedv aAA' irepcp rtvl 
rpoiTco vofju'^euv. ov ydp dXXr] ye ris k'ari pet^ajv 
ov8e Kpeirrcjov hvvajxis, coot' dyaipcty /cat d^avi^eiv 
epyov deov rrjv fjLavriKrjv ovaav. 6 p,ev ovv Y[Xavri~ 
rtdSou Xoyos ovk dpearos ifiol 8 id re rdXXa /cat 
rrjv dvcofiaXtav, rjv rrepl rov 6eov irotel, 7777 fiev dno- 
1 noXXaxodt. Bases and Hartman : noXXaxodev. 

The sacred truce, made throughout the Greek world, for 
the duration of the Pythian games. 
370 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 413 

their unworthiness, when he is responsible for their 
birth and nurture and their existence and power to 
think ; nor is it likely withal that Providence, like a 
benign and helpful mother, who does everything for 
us and watches over us, should cherish animosity in 
the matter of prophecy only, and take away that 
from us after having given it to us at the beginning, 
as if the number of wicked men included among a 
larger population were not larger at that earlier time 
when the oracles were established in many places in 
the inhabited world ! Come, sit down again and 
make a * Pythian truce a ' with evil, which you are 
wont to chastise with words every day, and join us in 
seeking some other reason for what is spoken of as 
the obsolescence of oracles ; but keep the god benign 
and provoke him not to wrath." 

What I had said was so far effective that Planetiades 
went out through the door without another word. 

8. There was quiet for a moment, and then 
Ammonius, addressing himself to me, said, " See 
what it is that we are doing, Lamprias, and con- 
centrate your thoughts on our subject so that we shall 
not relieve the god of responsibility. The fact is that 
the man who holds that the obsolescence of such 
of the oracles as have ceased to function has been 
brought about by some other cause and not by the 
will of a god gives reason for suspecting that he 
believes that their creation and continued existence 
was not due to the god, but was brought about in 
some other way. For prophecy is something created 
by a god, and certainly no greater or more potent 
force exists to abolish and obliterate it. Now I do not 
like what Planetiades said, and one of the reasons is 
the inconsistency which it creates regarding the god, 

371 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

CTp€<f)6fJ,€VOV /Cat CLTTa^LOVVTCL TTjV KOLKIOLV TTfj 0€ 7T(lXlV 

av 7Tpocrt€fJL€vov, axJTrep el ftaortXevs res rj rvpavvos 
F iripais drroKXeiojv dvpais rovs rrovqpovs kclO' ire- 
pas elaoexocro /cat xP r H xaT ^° l - r ov 8e perplov 1 /cat 
lkolvov /cat pu-qSapfj Treptrrov Travraxfj S* avr- 
dpKOVs, /xdAtora roTs deiois 2 Trperrovros epyois, 
el ravr-qv apxty 3 Xafiwv (f>atr) rig on rrjs kolvtjs 
dXiyavSplas, rjv at nporepai crrdaeis /cat ol TroXe- 
fxot rrepl TTaaav 6p,ov rt ri]v olKovfievrjv direipyd- 
414 aavro, TrXeiarov pepos rj 'EAAas* pereax^K^y Kal 
p*6Xis av vvv oXt) irapdaxoi rpiax^Xtovs oirXiras, 
oaovs rj Meyapeojv pia ttoXls e£eirepiftev els IlAa- 
raieas {ovoev ovv erepov rjv to 7roXXa KaraXiTreZv XP 7 ]' 
arrjpLa rov 9eov r) rrjs 'EAAaSo? eXeyx^w Ttp 
eprjpLiav), aKpifies* av ovtoj 5 rrapdox 01 TL * T V$ evprjat- 
Xoylas. rivos yap rjv dyaOov, ev Teyvpais ojs rrpo- 
repov elvac 7 p,avreiov, r) nepl to Urcpov ottov p,epos 
YjfAepas evrvx^lv eanv dvdpcoTTtp vepovn; /cat yap 
tovto Srj rovvravda 8 rrpea^vrarov ov xpov<p re /cat 
B oo^rj KXecvorarov vrro Qrjpiov x a ^ e7T °v opaKaivrjs 
ttoXvv xP°v°v €prjpbov yeveoOai /cat air pocnreXacrrov 
laropovaiv, ovk 6p9a>s rrjv dpylav 9 dAA* dvdrraXiv 
Xapb^dvovres* rj yap eprjpia to drjplov emyyayero 
piaXXov r) to Orjpiov eTTOiTjoe rrjv eprjpiav. eirel he. 
Tip deep §6£av ovtojs rj 0' 'EAAas 1 eppojadr] TroXeoi 
/cat to x^plov dvOpcoTTOLs eirXrjdvve, ovolv expa>vro 

1 fierpiov Emperius : /xeytorou. 

2 Oeiois Bcrnardakis : deols. 

3 dpxrjv omitted in some mss. 

4 aKpifih F.C.B. : aKpificjs. 5 ovrco F.C.B. : avra>. 

6 rrapdaxoL ti F.C.B. : 7TapdoxoLfj,L, 7 elvai Bryan : fy. 

8 Brj rovvravda Haupt : Bij7rov ivravOa. 

9 dpylav] cprjfiiav corr. in two mss. : alriav Meziriacus. 

372 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 413-414 

who in one way turns away from wickedness and 
disavows it, and again in another way welcomes its 
presence ; just as if some king or despot should shut 
out bad men at certain doors and let them in at others 
and have dealings with them. Now moderation, 
adequacy, excess in nothing, and complete self- 
sufficiency are above all else the essential character- 
istics of everything done by the gods ; and if anyone 
should take this fact as a starting-point, and assert 
that Greece has far more than its share in the general 
depopulation which the earlier discords and wars have 
wrought throughout practically the whole inhabited 
earth, and that to-day the whole of Greece would 
hardly muster three thousand men-at-arms, which is 
the number that the one city of the Megarians sent 
forth to Plataeae a (for the god's abandoning of many 
oracles is nothing other than his way of substantiating 
the desolation of Greece), in this way such a man 
would give some accurate evidence of his keenness in 
reasoning. For who would profit if there were an 
oracle in Tegyrae, as there used to be, or at Ptouin, 
where during some part of the day one might possibly 
meet a human being pasturing his flocks ? And 
regarding the oracle here at Delphi, the most ancient 
in time and the most famous in repute, men record 
that for a long time it was made desolate and un- 
approachable by a fierce creature, a serpent ; they 
do not, however, put the correct interpretation upon 
its lying idle, but quite the reverse ; for it was the 
desolation that attracted the creature rather than 
that the creature caused the desolation. But when 
Greece, since God so willed, had grown strong in 
cities and the place was thronged witli people, they 

° Cf. Herodotus, ix. 21 and 28. 

373 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(414) Trpo^rjTicnv ev p,epei KaQiefievais, 1 Kal rptrrj 8' 
e<f>e8pos rjv aTToheSeiypLevrj. vvv 8* eart /xt'a rrpo- 
(f>rJTLS, teal ovk eyKaXovjxev i£apK€c yap axirrf 
tols Seofxevotg. ov rotvvv alnareov ov$ev 3 rov deov 
rj yap ovoa fjbavrLKrj Kal oiapbevovaa iraoiv eariv 
C iKavrj Kal navras aTTOTrepLTrei rvyxdvovrag a>v XPV" 
£ovaiv. GJG7T€p ovv evvea KTjpv^iv 6 ' Ayapbefivajv 
ixpfjro, Kal jAoAis Karel\e rrjv eKKXrjoiav Sta ttXtj- 
#09, evravOa S' oifieoOe fxeO^ -qpiepas oXiyas ev rto 
dedrpco jxiav </>a>vrjv e^LKvovpLevrjv els iravras' ovtoj 
rore irXeloGLV ixpfJTO (j>u)vals 7Tpos TrXeiovas r) \iav- 
rt/cry, vvv ok Tovvavrtov e8ei Oavpid^eiv rov deov, el 
nrepiecopa rrjv fxavrtKrjv dxprjcrrojs Slktjv vSaros 
drroppeovoav r) KaOdnep at irerpai iroi\xeva)v ev 
eprjfjLtq /cat ^ocrKr)fjLdra>v <j)OJvals dvrrjxo vaav." 

9. RIttovtos Se ravra rod 'A/A/xam'ou /ca/xou crta>- 
ttcovtos, 6 KXeofifiporos ifxe npooayopevoas , " yjSrj 
crif rovro oe8a>Kas," £<i>T)> V to /cat iroieiv ravrl id 
J) [xavrela /cat dvacpelv rov Oeov." 

Ovk eyajye," elirov, " dvacpeZaOai fiev yap 
ovoev atrta Oeov ^77/xt puavreZov ovoe xprjorrjpLov' 
aAA* ojGTrep aAAa noXXd ttolovvtos 7)pZv eKelvov Kal 
napaoKevd^ovros , errdyei <j>dopav eviois Kal orepr]- 
gcv rj <j>vois, fxaXXov 8' rj vXrj orep-qois ovcra dva- 
<f>evyei x rroXXaKis Kal dvaXvei to yiyvopcevov vtto rrjs 
Kpeirrovos atrtas", ovtoj jxavriKajv ot/xat ovvdfjueojv 
GKorojaeis erepas* Kal dvaipeoeis et^at, rroAAa /caAa 

1 Ka8r}ftevais Xy lander. 2 avrrj Stegmann : aun^. 

3 ovbei> Kroncnberg: ovSt. 

4 dvafievyei] avv<f>aiv€i Xylander ; 8ia<f)d€ip€i Schwartz; to 
clvai (f>€vyei Michael; dvarpcrrcL? 5 erepas] iSiaircpas 1 Paton. 

Homer, //. ii. 96. 
374 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 414 

used to employ two prophetic priestesses who were 
sent down in turn ; and a third was appointed to be 
held in reserve. But to-day there is one priestess 
and we do not complain, for she meets every need. 
There is no reason, therefore, to blame the god ; the 
exercise of the prophetic art which continues at the 
present day is sufficient for all, and sends away all 
with their desires fulfilled. Agamemnon, a for ex- 
ample, used nine heralds and, even so, had difficulty in 
keeping the assembly in order because of the vast 
numbers ; but here in Delphi, a few days hence, in 
the theatre you will see that one voice reaches all. 
In the same way, in those days, prophecy employed 
more voices to speak to more people, but to-day, 
quite the reverse, we should needs be surprised at the 
god if he allowed his prophecies to run to waste, like 
water, or to echo like the rocks with the voices of 
shepherds and flocks in waste places." 

9- When Ammonius had said this and I remained 
silent, Cleombrotus, addressing himself to me, said, 
" Already you have conceded this point, that the god 
both creates and abolishes these prophetic shrines." 
No indeed," said I, " my contention is that no 
prophetic shrine or oracle is ever abolished by the 
instrumentality of the god. He creates and pro- 
vides many other things for us, and upon some of 
these Nature brings destruction and disintegration ; 
or rather, the matter composing them, being itself a 
force for disintegration, often reverts rapidly to its 
earlier state and causes the dissolution of what was 
created by the more potent instrumentality ; and 
it is in this way, I think, that in the next period 
there are dimmings and abolitions of the prophetic 
agencies ; for while the god gives many fair things to 

375 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

tov Oeov 8i86vtos dvdpwTrois addvarov Se paqhev 
ware Qvr\oKew Kal tol Oecov Oeovs 8' ov, Kara tov 
Hocf)OKAea. rrjv 8' ovoiav avrcbv Kal ouvapuv ovaav 

E ev 1 rrj (f>vd€i Kal tjj vXrj cf>aalv 2 del 3 ol oo(j)ol Setv 4 
^rjreiv, rto deep rrjs dpxtfs djarrep earl oLkollov 
<f>v\aTTopLevi{]s. evrjdes ydp eari Kal ttclioikov ko- 
fjuofj to oleodai tov Oeov avrov coorrep tovs ey- 
yaarpifjivOovs , HLvpVKAeas 7rdAou vvvl oe Ylvdwvas 
TTpoaayopevofxevovg , evovdjxevov els rd acofxara to)v 
7rpo<f)7]rd>v V7ro(j)d eyye ad at, toZs eKeivoov aropLaac 
Kal (jxjjvais Xpciy\ievov opydvois. eavrov yap ey- 
Karafjueiyvvs 6 dvQpojirivais XP €Lai S ov 4>etoerai rfjs 
oepvoTtyros ovoe rrjpet to a^tco/xa /cat to fieyeOog 
avTCp rrjs dpeTrjs" 

10. Kat 6 KAeojJifipoTos, " 6p6a>s Aeyeis' aAA' 

F eirel to Aafielv Kal Stootcrat tt&s XP r ) GT ^ ov KaL 
fieXP 1 tlvojv tjj TTpovoiq x a ^ €7TOV > ol jiev ovoevos 
clttAws tov Oeov ol 8' ojjlov tl TtdvTOjv alnov 
TToiovvTes doToxpvai tov \xeTpiov Kal TrpenovTos. 
ev jxev ovv Aeyovai Kal ol Aeyovres otl IlAaTcu^ to 
rats' yevvojjxevais ttolottjolv vTTOKeifievov OToixelov 
i£evpd>v> 8 vvv vArjv Kal ((>volv koAovolv, ttoXAwv 
a7n']AAa£e Kal jxeydAajv diropidov tovs <j>i\oo6(j>ovs' 
415 ejJLol Se ookovol rrAeiovas Avaai /cat jxei^ovas 

1 ovaav ev F.C.B. : rovs ev. 

2 (!>*olv\ <f>T)iu several editors. 

3 del added by F.C.B. 

4 ol ao<f>ol oelv Paton : Seivovs (-019) 6<j>ei\eiv (-€t). 

5 iavrov yap eyKarafieiyvv^ F.C.B {cf. 148 a): /cara/niyrus 
preceded by a lacuna. 

376 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 414-415 

mankind, he gives nothing imperishable, so that, as 
Sophocles ° puts it, * the works of gods may die, but 
not the gods.' Their presence and power wise men 
are ever telling us we must look for in Nature and in 
Matter, where it is manifested, the originating influ- 
ence being reserved for the Deity, as is right. Cer- 
tainly it is foolish and childish in the extreme to 
imagine that the god himself after the manner of 
ventriloquists (who used to be called ' Eurycleis,' b 
but now ' Pythones ') enters into the bodies of his 
prophets and prompts their utterances, employing 
their mouths and voices as instruments/ For if he 
allows himself to become entangled in men's needs, 
he is prodigal with his majesty and he does not 
observe the dignity and greatness of his pre- 
eminence." 

10. " You are right," said Cleombrotus ; " but 
since it is hard to apprehend and to define in what 
way and to what extent Providence should be 
brought in as an agent, those who make the god 
responsible for nothing at all and those who make 
him responsible for all things alike go wide of 
moderation and propriety. They put the case well 
who say that Plato, d by his discovery of the element 
underlying all created qualities, which is now called 
* Matter ' and 4 Nature,' has relieved philosophers of 
many great perplexities ; but, as it seems to me, 
those persons have resolved more and greater per- 

* Cf. Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag, p. 311, Sophocles, no. 
766 (no. 850 Pearson). The same thought is in the Oedipus 
at Colonus, 607. 

6 Eurycles was a famous ventriloquist. Cf. Plato, Sophist, 
252 c, and Aristophanes, Wasps, 1019, with the scholium. 

c Cf. 397 c and 404 b, supra. 

d In the Timaeus, 48 e ff., for example. 

377 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(415) drropias ol to tojv SatjjLovwv yevos ev fieaq) Sevres 1 

0€(X)V KOLL dv6pOJ7TOJV KOL TpOTTOV TLVa TTjV KOLVOJvlaV 

rjfxa>v avvdyov els ravro Kal ovvoltttov e^evpovres, 
elre p,dya)v tcov irepl Xcopodarprjv 6 Xoyos ovtos 
iartv, etre QpaKtos an* 'Op<f>ea)s elr Pdyvirrios 
7) Qpvyios, ojs TeK\iaipo\xeQa rats eKarepojOi reXe- 
rats dvafie/JLeiyixeva TroAAa 2 dvrjrd Kal 7revdip,a 
tojv opyia^opLevojv feat 8pa)fxevojv lepcov opcovres- 
'EXAijvojv 8' "OfArjpos fJiev In <j>aiverai kolvcos 
B dfJi(f>oTepoLS x/oai/A£i>09 rots ovofxaoi /cat tovs deovs 
ear iv ore oalfjuovas rrpocrayopevcDv 'Hat'oSo? 8e 
KdOaptbs Kal 8 to) ptafxevojs irpojros e^eOrjKe ra>v 
XoyiK&v reooapa yevrj, Oeovs etra oaipiovas eld 
rjpcoas to 8' em tt&oiv dvdpojnovs, e£ &v eoiKe 
TTotelv ttjv pLera^oXrjV , rov jxev ^pvoov yevovs els 
oatfiovas 3 ttoXXovs KayaOovs roiv 8' rjfxtdecov els 
rjpojas diTOKpidevTOJv, 

" "Erepoi 8e fJLerapoXrjv rots Te acofjuaoiv ofiolajs 

7TOLOVGL KOLI TdLS iffV^OLS , OJCFTTep €K yijs VOCOp eK 

8' vSaros drjp eK 8' depos rrvp yevvoojxevov oparai, 
ttjs ovoias dvto (f>epopLevr]s, ovtos eK jxev dvOpamtov 
els rjpcoas eK 8' rjpcooov els Salfjuovas at fieXrloves 
ipvxal rrjv fjLerafioXrjv Xajifidvov crtv. eK oe oaifMovajv 
C oAtyat pLev en yjpovco noXXa) St' dperrjv 4, kol9- 
apdeloai rravTanaoi detorrjros fxereaxov eviais oe 
avfifiaLveL pur) Kparelv eavrcov, aAA' v^iepuevais Kal 

1 dimes in Eusebius, not in the mss. 

2 iroXXa Eusebius : npos rd. 

3 eW -rjpcoas . . . yevovs els halfiovas in Eusebius, omitted 
in the mss. 

4 dperrjv] aperrjs in most MSS. 

378 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 415 

plexities who have set the race of demigods midway 
between gods and men, a and have discovered a force 
to draw together, in a way, and to unite our common 
fellowship — whether this doctrine comes from the 
wise men of the cult of Zoroaster, or whether it is 
Thracian and harks back to Orpheus, or is Egyptian, 
or Phrygian, as we may infer from observing that 
many things connected with death and mourning in 
the rites of both lands are combined in the ceremonies 
so fervently celebrated there. Among the Greeks, 
Homer, moreover, appears to use both names in 
common and sometimes to speak of the gods as demi- 
gods ; but Hesiod° was the first to set forth clearly 
and distinctly four classes of rational beings : gods, 
demigods, heroes, in this order, and, last of all, men ; 
and as a sequence to this, apparently, he postulates 
his transmutation, the golden race passing selectively 
into many good divinities, and the demigods into 
heroes. 

" Others postulate a transmutation for bodies and 
souls alike ; in the same manner in which water is 
seen to be generated from earth, air from water, and 
fir.e from air, as their substance is borne upward, even 
so from men into heroes and from heroes into demi- 
gods the better souls obtain their transmutation. 
But from the demigods a few souls still, in the long 
reach of time, because of supreme excellence, come, 
after being purified, to share completely in divine 
qualities. But with some of these souls it comes to 
pass that they do not maintain control over them- 
selves, but yield to temptation and are again clothed 

° Cf. Plutarch, Comment, on Hesiod, Works and Days, 122 
(Bernardakis's edition, vol. vii. p. 52) ; cf. also 390 e, svpra. 

379 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(415) ivSvofievais 1 irdXiv aco/xacrt dvrjTois ctAa/x^if) /cat 
ayLvhpav £corjv ajairep dvadv filao cv laytiv. 

11. *0 8' 'HatoSos" o'Urai /cat TrepioSois rial 
Xpovwv yiyveaOai rols Sat'/xocrt ras" reAeurdV Xeyet 
yap iv rep rrjs NatSo? 7rpoaco7rq) /cat tov XP^ V0V 
alvLTTopLevos 

evvea tol £aj€t yeveds Aa/ce'pt;£a Kopcbvrj, 
dv8pa>v rjj3a)VTa>v '€.\a<f>os Se re rerpaKopcDVos' 
rpcls 8' eXdcfrovs 6 Kopa£ yrjpdaKer at' avrdp 6 

<f>olvi£ 
Ivvia tovs /copa/cas" Se/ca 8* ^/icts tovs <£otVt/ca9 2 
D vvpLcfxii ivTrXoKajJLOi, Kovpai Aids atytd^oto. 

TOVTOV TOV XpOVOV €t9 TToXl) TtXtjOoS dpiOfJLOV OVV- 

dyovoiv ot p,rj kolXojs Sexofxevot rrjv yevedv. eart 
yap iviavros* o>ot€ ytyveodac to ovjXTrav ivvaKio- 
X^Xia €T7] /cat €7rra/coata /cat et/coat Trjs tcov Sat- 
fjiovajv t^ajrjs, eXaTTOv fxev ov vo/xi^ovotv ol iroXXol 
Tix)v ixadr^fjiaTLKcbv, irXeov 8' ov* Yiivhapos €ipr f Ke\ 

€L7T<hv TCt9 VVfJL<f>aS £t]V 

taoSeVSpou T€Kp,ap* alaivos Aa^otaas*, 6 

Std /cat KaXelv avTas dpuaopvaoas." 

"Ert 8* auroi; A^yo^'ros", Ary/xTyrpto? vnoXafidov , 

" 7to)s," €<f>rj, " Xeyeis, a> KAed^t/JooTe, ye^edv aVSpos" 

E elprjoOat tov eviavTov ; ovt€ yap ' rjficovTos ' ovt€ 

' yrjpu)VT0Si <*>S dvaycyvajOKovotv eVtot, x/doVo? 

dv9pO)7TlVOV jStOU TOOOVTOS €OTLV. dAA* Ot jLteV 

1 £v8uofx4vais TurnebuS : dvaXvofievats Or avaSvofievais. 

2 8* 17/Ltci? tov? ^oiVi/ms] 0oiVi/ca? 8e Tot iJ/Liets Kzach. 

3 o5 . . . o3 Wilamowitz-M Ollendorff: ow . . . ov or ovv. 

4 reKfiap Turnebus, as in Moralia, 757 f: re/c/xwp. 

5 Aa^otaa? Heyne : Aa^ouVas'. 

380 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 415 

with mortal bodies and have a dim and darkened 
life, like mist or vapour. 

11. " Hesiod thinks that with the lapse of certain 
periods of years the end comes even to the demigods ; 
for, speaking in the person of the Naiad, he indirectly 
suggests the length of time with these words : a 

Nine generations long is the life of the crow and his 

cawing, 
Nine generations of vigorous men. 5 Lives of four crows 

together 
Equal the life of a stag, and three stags the old age of a 

raven ; 
Nine of the lives of the raven the life of the Phoenix doth 

equal ; 
Ten of the Phoenix we Nymphs, fair daughters of Zeus of 

the aegis. 

Those that do not interpret ' generation ' well make 
an immense total of this time ; but it really means 
a year, so that the sum of the life of these divinities 
is nine thousand, seven hundred and twenty years, 
less than most mathematicians think, and more than 
Pindar c has stated when he says that the Nymphs 
live 

Allotted a term as long as the years of a tree, 
and for this reason he calls them Hamadryads/' 

While he was still speaking Demetrius, interrupting 
him, said, " How is it, Cleombrotus, that you can say 
that the year has been called a generation ? For 
neither of a man * in his vigour ' nor * in his eld/ as 
some read the passage, is the span of human life such 

a Hesiod, Frag. 183 (ed. Rzach) ; cf. the Latin version of 
Ausonius, p. 93, ed. Peiper (1886). See also Moralia, 989 a ; 
Martial, x. 67 ; Achilles Tatius, iv. 4. 3. 

6 Cf. Aristophanes, Birds, 609. 

* Pindar, Frag. 165 (ed. Christ); quoted also in Moralia, 
757 f. 

381 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

1 T)fia>VTa>v n avayiyvdjOKovTCs err] rptaKovra not- 
oven rrjv yzveav kglO' 'Hpd/cAetrov, iv to x?^ V(J 9 
yevvajvra Ttapeyei rov i£ avrov yeyevvy]\xevov 6 
yewtfaas. ol Se ' yr)pd)VTU)v ' irdXiv ovx ' rjficov- 
tojv ' ypdcf)OVT€s oktcI) /cat eKarov err] vi\xovoi rfj 
yevea' ra yap 7T€vrrjKovra /cat rerrapa p,€oovorj$ 
opov avdpamivris ^corjs etvou, ovyKeipizvov c/c re rfj$ 
a PXV$ 2 KaL T ^ )V TTptorujv Svotv eTMrehuov /cat Svoti' 
T€Tpayc[)va)v /cat 8voiv Kvficuv, ovs /cat YlXdrcov api- 
F Ojjbovg ZXafiev Iv rfj ifsvyjoyovla. /cat 6 Xoyos 6Xos 
fjvlxdai So/C€t rev 'HaidSa> TTpos rrjv iKTrvpcoaiv, 

OTTTjVLKa OVV€k\€L7T€IV TOLS Vypols €t/COS" €OTt TOLS 
NvfAcfxiS, 

at r d'Aaea /caAd vepLovrai 
/cat 7T7)yas 7TorafJLa>v /cat TTicrea 7TOLr)€vra. 

12. Kat 6 KXeofxfipoTOS, " clkovco tclvt' ," €<f>r] % 
u 7ToAAa>v /cat opto rrjv 7lt<x)ik7)v eKTrvpajoiv axiTrep 
rd 'Hpa/cActrou /cat 'Opcfrecos €7TLV€fjLOfJL€vr)v etrrj 
416 ovrco /cat Ta 'HcrtoSou /cat ovve^diTTovoav* • aAA' 
ovre rov koctjjlov rrjv (f)9opdv dVe^o/iat Xeyofievrjv, 
rd t d/x^av' dvayKalov vnopLvrjoei* rtbv <j)a>vtov 
/xdAtara irepl rrjv Kopojvrjv /cat rrjv eXa<f>ov c/cSueaflat 
im rovs vnepfiaXXovras . ovk ivtavros dpxrjv iv 
avrco /cat reXevrrjv ojjlov tl * iravrcov tov <f>epovoi,v 
(Lpat yrj oe <f)va, ' 7Tepiix is}V > ov ^ dvdpumujv diro 

1 T)pu>vra>v] -qftiovTos in nearly all mss. 

2 apxys] povdoos in some mss. 

3 Gwe^dirrovaav Wyttenbach : ovv€£a7raTovoav (or -a>o-ai>). 

4 dfJLijxa-v dvayKalov vnoixvyaet. F.C.B. : d/xifoava /cat <Li 

VTTOfLVT^aiS. 

6 irepUxoyv most editors (ir€pi€oxr)K<j>s Schwartz) : n€pi€xu)S. 
382 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 415-416 

as this. Those who read ' in their vigour ' make a 
generation thirty years, in accord with Heracleitus, a 
a time sufficient for a father to have a son who is a 
father also ; but again those who write ' in their eld ' 
and not ' in their vigour ' assign an hundred and eight 
years to a generation ; for they say that fifty-four 
marks the limit of the middle years of human life, a 
number which is made up of the first number, the 
first two plane surfaces, two squares and two cubes, 6 
numbers which Plato also took in his Generation of the 
Soul. c The whole matter as stated by Hesiod seems 
to contain a veiled reference to the * Conflagration/ 
when the disappearance of all liquids will most likely 
be accompanied by the extinction of the Nymphs, 

Who in the midst of fair woodlands, 
Sources of rivers, and grass-covered meadows have their 
abiding. d " 

12. " Yes," said Cleombrotus, " I hear this from 
many persons, and I observe that the Stoic ' Con- 
flagration,' just as it feeds on the verses of Hera- 
cleitus and Orpheus, is also seizing upon those of 
Hesiod. But I cannot brook this talk of universal 
destruction ; and such impossibilities, in recalling to 
our minds these utterances, especially those about 
the crow and the stag, must be allowed to revert 
upon those that indulge in such exaggeration. Does 
not a year include within itself the beginning and the 
end of ' all things which the Seasons and the Earth 
make grow,' e and is it not foreign to men's ways to 

a Cf. Diels, Frag, der Vorsokratiker, i. p. 76, Heracleitus, 
no. a 19. 

b That is 1+(1 x2) + (l x 3) + 4 + 9 + 8 + 27 =54. 

c Cf. Plato, Timaeus, 34 c-3o a. d Homer, U. xx. 8-9. 

■ Cf. Diels, Frag, der Vorsokratiker, i. p. 97, Heracleitus, 
no. u'lOO. 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(416) Tponov yeved K€kAt}tcu; Kal yap ijuuels o/xoAoyetre 

hrj7TOV X TOV 'YLcTLOOOV dvd pOJTT LVT]V £,U)TJV TTjV y6V€GLV 

Xiyetv. rj yap oi>x ovtu>$; " 
y Lvv€(f)rja€v 6 Arjjji'qTpios. 
B ' AAAa fjL7jv kolk€lvo ofjXov," 6 HXeopifipoTos 

€t7T€, " TO 7roXX(XKtS TO fl€TpOVV Kal TCL (JL€TpOVp,€Va 

tois avTots ovopuao~L 7rpocrayop€V€adat, kotvXtjv /cat 
yoiviKa Kal d[X(/)op€a Kal pLeoLfivov. ov Tponov ovv 
tov navTos dpidfxov tt)v \xovdoa fxeTpov ovaav 
eAax^CTTov Kal dpxr)v dpidp,6v KaXovpLev, ovto> tov 

€ViaVTOV, (L TTpOJTCp (JL€TpOVp,€V dvOpCOTTOV jSlOV, 

opuojvvpiojs TO) pLCTpovpLevcQ yeveav ajvofjiaaev. 
Kai ydp ovs fxev £k€lvol ttoiovglv dpidpiovs ovSzv 
€)(ovai Toyv vgvojjug [A€va>v iTTicfiavwv Kal Xapur pd)v 
ojs ev dpLdpLols' 6 §€ tojv ivvaKcax^Xlajv iTTTaKoalojv 
eiKocri ttjv yeveatv ecr^KC avvdiaei p,ev £k t&v 
airo fjbovdoos TeTTapcov c<j>€^rjs TCTpaKts yevofjbevuov 
rj SeKaKis y€vojJL€vojv 2 TZTTapojv T€TTapaKovTa yap 
C €KaT€po)s ylyveTat. raura Se irevTaKis Tpiyojvt- 
odevTa tov £kk€ljjl€vov dptdfiov Ttapiayev. dAAa 
Trepl fjiev tovtojv ovk dvayKoiov thiols A^/x-nr/Ho) 
oiafiepeadai. Kal yap kolv* rrXeloyv 6 xpovos rj kSlv 

iXaTTCOV KOLV T€TaypL€VOS KOLV OLTaKTOS, iv 0> jUL€T- 

aXXaTTei SalfJiovos faxi* Kai tfp * ? fti>ov, ovSev 
tjttov i<f) y a) 5 fiovXeTai SeSet'^erat f (xera pbapTvpcov 
ao(f)d>v Kal naXatajv otl <j)vcr€cs elac Tcves ojcmep 
iv fxeOopicp 6ed)v Kal dvdpojrrojv Se^o/xerac Trddrj 

1 StJttov TurnebllS : ^,777701;. 

2 r) h€Ko.Kis Meziriacus, yevofxevajv F.C.B., to fill a lacuna. 

3 kclv Eusebius : av. 

4 <A u /ri Eusebius and one ms. corr. : t/tvxqv. 

5 €<f>' to] €<j>* o some mss. ; o Viger. 

384 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 416 

call it a * generation ' ? As a matter of fact you 
yourselves surely agree that Hesiod by the word 
' generation ' means a mans life. Is not that so ? " 

" Yes," said Demetrius. 

" And this fact also is clear," said Cleombrotus, 
" that often the measure and the things measured are 
called by the same name, as, for example, gill, quart, 
gallon, and bushel. a In the same way, then, in which 
we call unity a number, being, as it is, the smallest 
number and the first ; so the year, which we use as 
the first measure of man's life, Hesiod has called by the 
same name as the thing measured, a ' generation.' 
The fact is that the numbers which those other 
persons produce have none of those notable and 
conspicuous qualities which may be inherent in 
numbers. The number nine thousand, seven hundred 
and twenty b has been produced by adding together 
the first four numbers and multiplying them by four, c 
or by multiplying four by ten. Either process gives 
forty, and when this is multiplied five times by three 
it gives the specified number. 4 But concerning these 
matters there is no need for us to disagree with 
Demetrius. In fact, even if the period of time in 
which the soul of the demigod or hero changes its life * 
be longer or shorter, determinate or indeterminate, 
none the less the proof will be there on the basis which 
he desires, fortified by clear testimony from ancient 
times, that in the confines, as it were, between gods 
and men there exist certain natures susceptible to 

a Cf Censorinus, De die natali ad hi. Caerellium, xviii. 11, 
and Geffcken in Hermes , xhx. 336. 
b Cf. 415 d, supra. 
c (l+2 + 3 + 4)x4 = 40. 
d 40x3 5 =9720. 
e Cf 415 b, supra. 

385 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(416) Qvr)Ta Kal /uL€Taj3oAd? dvayKaias , ovs 8ai/ioi'as 

OpdtOS €X €t Karo ^ VO\LQV TT<XT€p(JL)V rjyovpevovs Kal 

ovopid^ovTas oefieadou. 

13. " riapaSety/xa 8e rep Xoyco 1 tLevoKpdnjs pkv 
D 6 TlXdrtovos iratpos iTroirjaaro to twv rptycovcuv , 
deto) pev direiKdaas to looTrXtvpov OvrjTtp Se to 
OKaXrjvov to 8' larooKeXzs Scu/xoyiar to /zeV yap 
Xaov TrdvTTj to 8' dvioov navTr), to Se rrfj p,ev caov 
nfj 8* avioov, Siartep rj haijxovojv (j>vois e^oucra /ecu 
irddos OvrjTov Kal deov Svvapuv. rj Se cf>vats 
aladrpds ecKOvas €^4dy]K€ Kal opoLOTryras 6pa>- 
pL€vas, 0€a>v fjiev 2 rjXtov Kal doTpa Ovtjtlov Se cre'Aa 
Kal KopnqTas Kal hiaTTOVTas, ci? Eu/kttiS^S' €iKao€v 

iv OlS €17T€V, 

6 8' dpTi OdXXcov odpKa* SiOTreTrjs o7Tojs 
aaT7]p arreopr) rrvevp acpeic ec* aiuepa. 

E jjl€lkt6v* Se oojpa Kal piprjpa Saipovtov ovtojs ttjv 
a^\r]Vj]Vy TW TJ] tovtov tov yivovs ovvdheiv irtpi- 
c/iopa, <f>diG€is <f>aivofJL€vas 8exop,€vr)v Kal au^aet? 
Kal /LterajSoAas 1 6pa>VT€s, ol p,kv doTpov yecoSes ol 
8' oXvpuriav yrjv ol Se x^ ov ^ op,ov Kal ovpavlas 
KXrjpov 'E/car^S' rrpooeiTrov. woTrep ovv aV 6 ei tov 
depa tls dveXoi Kal vTrooTrdoeie tov p,€Ta£v yfjs 
Kal aeXrfvrjs, ttjv ivoTrjTa SiaAuaeie 7 Kal ttjv kolvco 

1 ra> Xoyai] rov Xoyov ? 

2 opa>/LteWs, de<x>v (xev Turnebus : opcofxivcov Ocwv cos. 

8 aapKt in Aloralia, 1090 c. 4 is Nauck : els. 

5 fiiKrov Turnebus: yuKpov. 6 av added by F.C.B. 

7 $ia\va€t,€ F.C.B. : biaXvo€L. 

a " All last ni#ht the northern streamers flashed across 
the western sky." 

6 C/. Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag. p. (>7<A, Euripides, no 
971. Plutarch quotes the lines again in Moralia, 1090 c. 
386 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 4,16 

human emotions and involuntary changes, whom it is 
right that we, like our fathers before us, should regard 
as demigods, and, calling them by that name, should 
reverence them. 

13. " As an illustration of this subject, Xenocrates, 
the companion of Plato, employed the order of the 
triangles ; the equilateral he compared to the nature 
of the gods, the scalene to that of man, and the 
isosceles to that of the demigods ; for the first is 
equal in all its lines, the second unequal in all, and the 
third is partly equal and partly unequal, like the 
nature of the demigods, which has human emotions 
and godlike power. Nature has placed within our ken 
perceptible images and visible likenesses, the sun and 
the stars for the gods, and for mortal men beams of 
light, a comets, and meteors, a comparison which 
Euripides b has made in the verses : 

He that but yesterday was vigorous 

Of frame, even as a star from heaven falls, 

Gave up in death his spirit to the air. 

But there is a body with complex characteristics which 
actually parallels the demigods, namely the moon ; 
and when men see that she, by her being consistently 
in accord with the cycles through which those beings 
pass, c is subject to apparent wanings and waxings and 
transformations, some call her an earth-like star, others 
a star-like earth , d and others the domain of Hecate, 
who belongs both to the earth and to the heavens. 
Now if the air that is between the earth and the 
moon were to be removed and withdrawn, the unity 
and consociation of the universe would be destroyed, 

* Cf. Moralia, 361 c, and the lines of Empedocles there 
quoted. 

d Ibid. 935 o. 

387 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

vlav rod iravroSy iv fieoa) Ktvfjs Kal aovvhtrov 
Xojpas yevo{JL€vrj£, ovrcos ol Saijjiovcov yevos fir) 
F a7ro\ei7TovTes, dveirLfieLKTa ra rwv Oe&v Kal dvdpco- 
ttojv ttolovgl koX aavvdWaKTa, rr)v £pp,r)V€.VTiKT)v , 
<bs YlXdrojv eXeyev, Kal 8iaKovLKr)v avaipovvres 
<f>voLv y r] Trdvra <f>vp€iv dfia kcll rapdrreLV dvay- 
Kd£ov<JLv rjfias tols dvOpumivoLs TrddeoL Kal it pay - 
/xaat rov 0€ov €/xj3ij3a£ovT<x9 Kal KaTaaiTOJVTas irrl 
ra? XP €LCL S> cbcmep at QerraXal XiyovraL rrjv oeXrj- 
417 V7]v. dXX e/C€tVa>y fikv iv yvvaL^l to iravovpyov 

€OX € KLOTLV * AyAaOVLK7)S TTJS 'HyrjTOpOS, 0)S (f)CLGlV } 

aorpoAoyLKrjs yvvaLKos £v 4kX€liJj€l oeXrjvrjs del 
TTpooTTOLovfJLevrjs yorjT€V€Lv Kal KaOaipelv avrrjv. 
r)jjL€Ls Se firyre fjLavrelas nvds dOecdorovs etvat 
Xeyovrojv 1 r) reXerds Kal opyiaofiovs dfieXovfievovs 
V7TO Oecjv aKoviofiev firJT av 7raAtv rov Qzov zv 
tovtols dvaarp€(f)€o9aL Kal rrap^lvai Kal ovfi- 
7Tpay/JLaT€veo-6aL So£a£a>txev, aAA' ols St/catdi' ion 
ravra XeLTOvpyols Oecov dvarLOevres djOTrep vttt]- 
piraLS Kal ypafifiarevoL, 2 haifiovas vofiL^oafizv €ttl- 
okottovs OecL)v z leptov Kal fivoTrjpLOJv opyLaoTas i 
B aXXovs 8e T&v V7repr)(f)dvojv Kal fieydXatv TLfitopovs 

aStKtO)l> 7T€pLTToXu,V. TOVS §€ TTaW O€jJLV0JS 6 

'HoloSoS 

1 dyvovs ' Trpooelrre 
4 irXovrohoras t Kal tovto yepas fiaotXrjLOV €x ovra S> 

U)S /JacrtAt/cot; rod ev 7tol€iv ovtos. elol yap, a>9 

1 Xeyovrajv] Xiyovras most mss. (Xdyovros Schwartz). 

2 ypafj,fiaT€VGi] 7Tpay(j,aTCVTaZs van Groningcn. 

3 dewv] Oclcov Reiske. 

° C/. Republic, 260 d, and Symposium, 202 e. 

388 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 416-417 

since there would be an empty and unconnected space 
in the middle ; and in just the same way those who 
refuse to leave us the race of demigods make the 
relations of gods and men remote and alien by doing 
away with the ' interpretative and ministering nature,' 
as Plato a has called it ; or else they force us to a 
disorderly confusion of all things, in which we bring 
the god into men's emotions and activities, drawing 
him down to our needs, as the women of Thessaly are 
said to draw down the moon. 6 This cunning deceit of 
theirs, however, gained credence among women 
when the daughter of Hegetor, Aglaonice, who was 
skilled in astronomy, always pretended at the time of 
an eclipse of the moon that she was bewitching it and 
bringing it down. c But as for us, let us not listen to 
any who say that there are some oracles not divinely 
inspired, or religious ceremonies and mystic rites which 
are disregarded by the gods ; and on the other hand let 
us not imagine that the god goes in and out and is 
present at these ceremonies and helps in conducting 
them ; but let us commit these matters to those mini- 
sters of the gods to whom it is right to commit them, as 
to servants and clerks, and let us believe that demi- 
gods are guardians of sacred rites of the gods and 
prompters in the Mysteries, while others go about as 
avengers of arrogant and grievous cases of injustice. 
Still others Hesiod d has very impressively addressed as 

Holy 
Givers of wealth, and possessing in this a meed that is kindly, 

implying that doing good to people is kingly. For 

6 Cf. the note on 400 b supra, 
c Cf. Moralia, 145 c. 

d Works and Days, 123, 126; cf also Moralia, 361 b, 
supra. 

389 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(417) eV avOpdmois, Kal 8aipiooiv dperrjs Stacfropal /cat 
rod 7radrjTiKov Kal dXoyov tols [lev dcrOeves Kal 
djxavpov en Xeiifsavov cjonep TTepirrcofia, tols §€ 
7ToXv Kal hvcrKaraofieGTOv eveortv, &v i'xvi) Kal 
ovfxfioAa TToXXa^ov dvoiat Kal reXeral Kal \xvdo- 
Xoyiat ota^ovoi Kal 8ca(f)vXdrrovoiv erSiea77apueVa. 

14. " TLepl fJL€V OVV TtOV fJLVOTLKO)V , Iv OtS TaS 

C /xeyiaras 1 ifufrdoei? Kal Siacfrdoeis Xafielv Ibri Trjs 
7Tepl haipbovwv dXrjdeias, l evarofxa (jlol Kelo0a>,' 
KaO' UpoSoTov iopTas Se Kal dvotas, cboirep 
rfpLtpas a7TO(j)pd8as Kal OKvOpumas, iv als ojjjlo- 
<f>ayiai Kal Siaoiraofxol vrjaTelai re Kal ko7T€tol, 
7ToXXaxov Se TrdXiv alu^poXoyiai rrpos UpoTs 

fiaviat t dXaXai t 1 optvofxevajv 2 
pafjavxevL ovv kXovco, 

0€Ol)v jikv ovSevl 8acfxova)P Se (f>avXwv diroTpoTrrjs 
eW/ca cfyrjoai/JL* dv TeXelodai? /zeiAi'xta Kai Trapa- 
fivdta. Kal ras rrdXai iroiovpievas dvdpcoTToOvoias 
ovre 6eovs drraiTelv rj 7Tpoo8ex^adat mOavov iorcv, 
D ovre fjidr-qv dv dveLypvro^ paotXels Kal OTparrjyot 
TratSas' avrujv eVriSiSoVres' Kal Karapxd{Ji€Voi 5 /cat 
o<j)dTTovT€s / aAAa ^aAe7ra)y /cat hvoTpoiraiv opyas 
Kal fiapvOv/iias a^ooiovpLevoi 1 Kal dTTOTripLTrXdi'Tes 
dXaoTopajv, iviajv* Se fxaviKovs Kal TVpavviKovs 

1 dAaAai re Turnebus : aAAa re or aAAai. 

2 6pivojA€va>u in 623 b and Theodoretus : optvopewu (or 
6piv6y,€vov in one ms.). 

3 TcXeToOai Eusebius : TeXelv. 

4 av dv€t)(ovTO F.C.B. ; av $v4ox ovTO Sievektng; av ihixovro 
Eusebius : dvix Q vrai. 

5 K<iTapx6iJ.€i'oi Eusebius : dp^d^eroi. 

6 o</)dTT0VT€S Eusebius : <f>vAaTTOVT€S. 

7 afooLOvfievoi Eusebius : a7TOCT€id/Li€i/oi. 8 eVio)^] eVt'ois? 

390 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 417 

as among men, so also among the demigods, there 
are different degrees of excellence, and in some there 
is a weak and dim remainder of the emotional and 
irrational, a survival, as it were, while in others this is 
excessive and hard to stifle. Of all these things there 
are, in many places, sacrifices, ceremonies, andlegends 
which preserve and jealously guard vestiges and tokens 
embodied here and there in their fabric. 

14. n Regarding the rites of the Mysteries, in which 
it is possible to gain the clearest reflections and 
adumbrations of the truth about the demigods, ' let 
my lips be piously sealed/ as Herodotus a says ; but 
as for festivals and sacrifices, which may be compared 
with ill-omened and gloomy days, in which occur the 
eating of raw flesh, rending of victims, fasting, and 
beating of breasts, and again in many places scurrilous 
language at the shrines, and 

Frenzy and shouting of throngs in excitement 
With tumultuous tossing of heads in the air, 6 

I should say that these acts are not performed for any 
god, but are soothing and appeasing rites for the 
averting of evil spirits. Nor is it credible that the gods 
demanded or welcomed the human sacrifices of 
ancient days, nor would kings and generals have 
endured giving over their children and submitting 
them to the preparatory rites and cutting their 
throats to no purpose save that they felt they were 
propitiating and offering satisfaction to the wrath and 
sullen temper of some harsh and implacable avenging 
deities, or to the insane and imperious passions of 

a Herodotus, ii. 171 ; cf. Moral la, 607 c and 036 o. 
b Pindar, Frag. 208 (ed. Christ). Cf. Moralia, 623 b and 
706 e. 

391 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(417) epojras ov 8vva[JL€va)v ovhe ftovXojAevojv acofxaai i<al 
Sta, acofidrcov opaXelv. dAA' tbarrep 'H/oa/cA^s 
OixaAtav irroXi6pK€i Std 7rap0€vov, ovtojs 1 tcr^upot 
/cat /Jtatot SaifjLoves i^airovfjievoi ipvx^v dvQpoj- 

TTLl'TJV 7T€pl€XOlxivqv (JcbfACLTL 2 XotflOVS T€ TToXeOl KCLI 

yfjs d<f>opias indyovat /cat ttoX£jjlovs /cat ordoets 
E rapdrrovatv, a^pt ov Xdfiaxji /cat tvxojgiv ov* 

iptOCriV. k' VIOLS* §6 TOVVCLVTIOV , U)OTT€p Iv K/^T?/ 

Xpovov ovyyov 8idyojv eyvojv aroirov riva reXov- 
fjLevrjv loprr^Vy iv fj /cat €tSa>Aoy dvopos aKecjxxXov 
avahetKVvovoi Kal Xeyovaw d>s ovros r\v MoXos 6 
Nlrjpiovov TTaTTjp, vvfufrri Se Trpos j8tav ovyyevojxevos 

OLK€(f)aXog €Vp€0€Lrj. 

15. lt Kat fjbrjv ooas ev re jjlvOols /cat vpuvocs 
Xeyovoi /cat a'Souat, tovto p,€V dpTrayds tovto Se 
^AdVas* dctov Kpvifjets T€ /cat (f>vyds /cat Xarpeias, 
ov decov elcrw dXXd 8aip,6vojv TTaOrjiiara Kat rvx aL 
fxi'rjfjLovevofxevaL St' dperrjv /cat hvvafjuv avrojv, Kat 

OUT KloXvXoS €17T€V OOhOV ? 

F dyvov t 'KttoXXoj </>uydS' dV ovpavov deov, 

ov&* 6 So^o/cAeov? "A8(JLr)Tos 

ovfjids 8' dXeKTcop avrov rjye Trpos (JLvXrjv. 

irXelarov he ttjs dXrjdelas hia\iaprdvovoiv ol 
AeA0a>t> 0€oX6yot vopu%ovTes ivravdd irore Trpos 

1 ovrcos] ovtoj tioXX&kis Eusebius and some mss. 

2 cwjjiarL Eusebius : ctco/xoti kol hia awfJLaTOJv ofiiXelv Copied 
from above. 

3 ov] <J)v Sieveking. 

4 iviois F.C.13. : evioi. 

6 oqlov added by F.C.B. (6p0a>s added by Xylander). 
392 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 417 

some who had not the power or desire to seek satis- 
faction in a natural and normal way. But as Heracles 
laid siege to Oechalia for the sake of a maiden, a 
so powerful and impetuous divinities, in demanding 
a human soul which is incarnate within a mortal 
body, bring pestilences and failures of crops upon 
States and stir up wars and civil discords, until they 
succeed in obtaining what they desire. To some, 
however, comes the opposite ; for example, when 
I was spending a considerable time in Crete, I noted 
an extraordinary festival being celebrated there in 
which they exhibit the image of a man without a 
head, and relate that this used to be Molus, 6 father 
of Meriones, and that he violated a young woman ; 
and when he was discovered, he was without a head. 
15. " As for the various tales of rapine and wander- 
ings of the gods, their concealments and banishment 
and servitude, which men rehearse in legend and in 
song, all these are, in fact, not things that were done 
to the gods or happened to them, but to the demigods; 
and they are kept in memory because of the virtues 
and power of these beings ; nor did Aeschylus c speak 
devoutly when he said 

Holy Apollo, god from heaven banned ; 

nor Admetus in Sophocles , d 

My cock it was that sent him to the mill. 

But the greatest error in regard to the truth is that 
of the theologians of Delphi who think that the god 

a Iole ; cf. e.g. Sophocles, Trachiniae, 475-478. 

* A son of Deucalion. 

• Aeschylus, Supplices, 214. 

d Nauck, Trag. Oraec. Frag. p. 311, Sophocles, no. 767 
(no. 851 Pearson). 

393 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

6<f)Lv rco deep 7Tcpl rov xP r j OT VP^ ov f t( ^XV v ytveoOai, 
Kal ravra TToirjras Kal Xoyoypdcfrovs eV dedrpots 
418 aycovL^opLevovs Xeyeiv ecovres, toenrep erfiry)hes 
avrtpLaprvpovvras &v optocnv lepols 1 rots ayio)- 
rarot?. ,> 

QavpLaaavTos oe rod QiAiTrnov (rraprjv yap 2 6 
ovyypacfievs) Kal rrvOopbevov, rioiv avripiaprvpelv 
ooiots 3 oterac rovs, dvrayojvi^ojxevovs , "tovtois,' 
ecprj, " toLs rrepl ro xprjOTTjpLov , ols dpn rovg e£a> 
YlvXtov rrdvras "EAArjvas rj rroXcs Karopyid^ovoa 
/xe'xpi Tepuroyv eXrjXaKev. rj re yap tora/xeV^ 
KaXids ivravOa Trepl rr)v dXw oV evvea irtov ov 
tfxjoXeworjs* rov hpaKovros X eu *, dXXd pup,7]p,a rvpav- 
vlktJs rj fiaoiXiKrjs eoriv olKTjoeoJS' v) t€ fierd oiyrjs 
€7?' avrrjv Sta rrjs ovofJLa^opbevqg AoAam'a? ecpoSos, 
B fj Aa/?uaSat 6 rov djJLcfiidaXrj Kopov ^u/xeVat? oaolv 
dyovat, /cat irpoofiaXovres 6 to rrvp rfj /caAtaSt /cat 
rrjv rpdrre^av dvarpeiftavres avemorperrrl cfrev- 
yovoc Std rcov 1 dvptov rod lepov' Kal reXevralov at 
T€ 7rAdVat /cat r) Xarpeta rod iraiods ol re yiyvo- 
\xevoi rrepl rd Tepbrrrj KaOapfiol fieyaXov rivos dyovs 
Kal roXpLrjpiaros vrroijfiav exovoi. rrayyeXoiov yap 
eoriv, to eralpe, rov 'AnoXXajva Kreivavra Qr\piov 
(frevyetv eirl nepara rrjs 'EAAaSo? ayviop,od heo- 
fievov, elr* eKel ^oaj nvas yeioQai Kal opav a 
Sptooiv dvdpojiTOi firjVLjxara Sat/xoVa>v dcf)ooiovp,evoi 

1 Upois] Upthv Stegmann. 2 yap added by Turnebus. 

8 ooiois F.C.B. ; (kiots Turnebus ; lepols Sieveking : OeoZs. 

4 (fxjoXew&ris] <fxt)\eov hr) Schwartz, supported by 1). 

5 fj Aapvddai Pomtow (fj AioAaSat Xy lander, r/. Hcsychius, 

AtoSa" irapa Ae\<f>oi^ yzvos ti) : /X17 aloXa 8c. 

6 7rpoaj3aAdvT€s] npoopaXXovres in most mss. 

7 Sid TiSi»J Sick in some mss. 
394 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 417-418 

once had a battle herewith a serpent for the possession 
of the oracle, and they permit poets and prose-writers 
to tell of this in their competitions in the theatres, 
whereby they bear specific testimony against the 
most sacred of the rites that they perform." 

At this Philip the historian, who was present, 
expressed surprise, and inquired against what hallowed 
rites Cleombrotus thought that the competition bore 
testimony. M These," said Cleombrotus, " which 
have to do with the oracle here, and in which the city 
recently initiated all the Greeks west of Thermopylae 
and extended the rites as far as Tempe. For the 
structure which is erected here near the threshing- 
floor a every eight years b is not a nest-like serpent's 
den, but a copy of the dwelling of a despot or king. 
The onset upon it, which is made in silence through 
the way called ' Dolon's Way,' by which the Labyadae 
with lighted torches conduct the boy, who must have 
two parents living, and, after, applying fire to the 
structure and upsetting the table, flee through the 
doors of the temple without looking back ; and finally 
the wanderings and servitude of the boy and the 
purifications that take place at Tempe — all prompt a 
suspicion of some great and unholy deed of daring. 
For it is utterly ridiculous, my good friend, that 
Apollo, after slaying a brute creature, should flee to 
the ends of Greece in quest of purification and, after 
arriving there, should offer some libations and per- 
form those ceremonies which men perform in the 
effort to placate and mollify the wrath of spirits whom 

u At the right of the second section of the sacred way, as 
one progresses upwards toward the temple of Apollo. 
b See Moral ia, 293 b-e. 
c That is, a copy of the primitive circular house. 

395 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(418) Kal 7TpavvovT€s, ovs dXdaropas Kal TraAapLvalovs 
C SvofJid^ovGLV, obs aArjGTOJV tlvoov Kal TraAaiobv paa- 
Gjidrcov iivrjixais iTretjiovras. 1 ov 8' rJKovaa Aoyov 
rjBrj 7T€pl rrjs (f>vyrjs ravrrjs Kal rrjs peTaoTaaeoos , 
dr ottos fJiev ion Seivcos Kal napdootjos* el 8 
dArjdeias tl [Lzriyjci, p/i] piiKpov oloopeda prjoe 
kolvov elvai to rrpaxQev iv rots rore xP OVOL S 7r€ P t 
to xpt)OTy)piov \ •dAA' Iva fir) to 'E/j,7T€86k\€lov 
iro i€iv* ho^oo 

Kopvcf>ds ircpas €Teprjcri 3 TTpoodrrToov 
fJLvOwv, fjurj TeAeetv* aTparrov pulav, 

edaare fxe tols rrpooTOLs to TrpoorjKov imdeivai 

reAos" ?}or) yap en*' aifTop yeyovafxev Kal rcroA- 

pLrjoOoo /xera ttoAAovs elprjodai Kal rjfjuv, otl tols 

D 7T€pl ra /xavreta Kal xP r ) GT1 lP La Tcray/xeVoiS" Sat- 

[JLOVLOLS €KAeiTTOVOL T€ KOjJLlSfj OVV€kA€LTT€L TaUT 

aura, 5 Kal (frvyovToov tj putTaoTavToov aTrofidAAei tt)v 
hvvapuv, etra irapovToov avTCov Sid xP ovov ttoXAov 
KaOdrrep opyava cf)8eyy€TaL tcov -^poofxevojv em- 
OTavToov Kal TrapovToov." 

16. TavTa tov KAeopfipoTov SieAOovTos, o 
c H/oa/o\ecov " ov8els pL€v" *<(>?)> " tcov fiefiijAcov 
Kal dfJbvqrcDV Kal irepl Oecov Solas' dovyKpdrovs 
rjpuv €Xovtojv TrdpeoTiv avTol 8e TtapacfyvAaTTcopev 

aVTOVS, 00 <S>lAl777T€, fX7} Ad0COpL€V aTOTTOVS V770- 

Oecrzis Kal pueydAas too Aoyoo 8180^x69." 

" Kv Aeyecs," 6 QlAlttttos etnev, " dAAd tl 

1 eVefioVras] eVcfidircs in all mss. but E. 

2 7toi€lv Emperius : €ltt€lv. 

3 ircprjoi Scaliger : iripais. 

4 /XT) reXieiv Paton and Knatz : /ztjtc Xiyeiv. 
5 7aur' aura F.C.13. ; Kal raOra Xylander : ra rotavra* 

S96 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 418 

men call the ' unforgetting avengers/ as if they 
followed up the memories of some unforgotten foul 
deeds of earlier days. And as for the story which I 
have heard before about this flight and the removal 
to another place, it is dreadfully strange and para- 
doxical, but if it has any vestige of truth in it, let us 
not imagine that what was done in those days about 
the oracle was any slight or common affair. But that 
I may not seem to be doing what is described by 
Empedocles a as 

Putting the heads of myths together, 
Bringing no single path to perfection, 

permit me to add to what was said at the outset the 
proper conclusion, for we have already come to it. 
Let this statement be ventured by us, following the 
lead of many others before us, that coincidently with 
the total defection of the guardian spirits assigned to 
the oracles and prophetic shrines, occurs the defec- 
tion of the oracles themselves ; and when the spirits 
flee or go to another place, the oracles themselves lose 
their power, but when the spirits return many years 
later, the oracles, like musical instruments, become 
articulate, since those who can put them to use are 
present and in charge of them. " 

16. When Cleombrotus had expounded these 
matters, Heracleon said, " There is no unsanctified or 
irreligious person present, or anyone who holds 
opinions about the gods that are out of keeping with 
ours ; but let us ourselves be stringently on our guard 
lest we unwittingly try to support the argument with 
extraordinary and presumptuous hypotheses/' 

" That is a very good suggestion," said Philip, 

Diels, Frag, der Vorsokratiker, i. p. 235, Empedocles, 
no. b 24. 

397 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 
E fidXcard ae 8voo)tt€l ra>v vrro KXeofxfipoTov riOe- 

fJL€VO)V; " 

Kat o e H/>a/cAea)y " to jxkv IfyzoTavai rots XPV" 
arrjpiois," etrre, " (jltj deovs oh aVrjAAa^flat tcjv 
TTCpl yrjv rrpoorjKov ioriv, aAAa 8aip,ovas v7T7]peras 

0€(A)V, OV 8oK€i fJLOL KCLKCOS d^LOVodai' TO §€ TOIS 

SaifjLooi tovtols [xovovovxl 8pdy8rjv 1 XafjbfSdvovTas 

€K TLOV €7TO)V TOJV EiflTTeSoKXeOVS djJLapTLCLS Kdl CLTCLS 

/cat irXdvas OerjXaTovs €7TL<f>€p€w, TeXtVTtovTas Se 
/cat BavaTOVs womep dv9pd)7TOJv viroTideadaL, dpaarv- 
T€pov rpyovfjicu /cat fiapfiapiKojTepov ." 

9 Hpd)Trja€v ovv 6 KXeofifipOTOS tov QiXirriTOV, 
ootls etrj /cat oirodev 6 veavlas* TrvOofievos 8e tov- 
vop,a /cat ttjv ttoaiv, ovo olvtovs rj p,as, €977, 
tl Xav9dvop,€v , a) 'Hpa/cAc'aw, Iv Xoyois aToirois 
yeyovoTes' aAA' ovk €Otl 7repl TrpaypbaTcov jxeydXajv 
fjL-rj jxeydXais Trpooxp^CFafievov dpxcus iirl to et/cos" 
Trj 86£rj TTpoeXdeiv* av 8e aeavTov XeXrjOas o 8i8a>s 
acfraipovfJLevos* opioXoyeis yap elvai 8aip,ovas, tco 
419 Sc fjLrj (f>avXovs d^iovv elvat jxrfik OvrjTOVS ovk€tl 
8aipiovas <f)vXaTT€is m rtVt yap tcov decov 8t,a<f)€povoiv, 
et /cat /car' ovalav to d</)9apTOV /cat kot dp€T7jv 
to drraOes /cat dva/idpT-qTov e^ofat; " 

17. Upos Tavra tov 'HpaKXetovos otwirfj Sta- 
voovfiivov tl TTpos avTov 6 ^iXiiTTros, 2 " aAAa (f>aV' 
Xovs fJL€v y " €<f>rj, " SaifLovas ovk 'E/ZTreSo/cA^s' 
[jlovov, to 'HpaKXeaiv, aTTeXiirev, aAAa /cat nAaVa>i> 
/cat 'RevoKpdrqs /cat Xpvai7TTros ' €Ti 8e A^/xo/cotTOS", 

1 SpdySrjv Wyttenbach : pdyhrjv (Spaxf^rjv Eusebius and 
Theodoretus). 2 6 OIXlttttos in Eusebius only. 

° Cf. Diels, Frag, der Vorsokratiker, i. p. 267, Empedo- 
cles, no. b 115. 

398 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 418-419 

M but which of the theses of Cleombrotus makes you 
the most uncomfortable ? " 

11 That it is not the gods," said Heracleon, " who 
are in charge of the oracles, since the gods ought 
properly to be freed of earthly concerns ; but that it 
is the demigods, ministers of the gods, who have them 
in charge, seems to me not a bad postulate ; but to 
take, practically by the handful, from the verses of 
Empedocles a sins, rash crimes, and heaven-sent 
wanderings, and to impose them upon the demigods, 
and to assume that their final fate is death, just as 
with men, I regard as rather too audacious and un- 
civilized." 

Cleombrotus was moved to ask Philip who the 
young man was and whence he came ; and after 
learning his name and his city he said, " It is not 
unwittingly, Heracleon, that we have become in- 
volved in strange arguments ; but it is impossible, 
when discussing important matters, to make any 
progress in our ideas toward the probable truth 
without employing for this purpose important prin- 
ciples. But you unwittingly take back what you 
concede ; for you agree that these demigods exist, 
but by your postulating that they are not bad nor 
mortal you no longer keep them ; for in what respect 
do they differ from gods, if as regards their being 
they possess immortality and as regards their virtues 
freedom from all emotion or sin ? " 

17. As Heracleon was reflecting upon this in 
silence, Philip said, " Not only has Empedocles 
bequeathed to us bad demigods, Heracleon, but so 
also have Plato, Xenocrates, and Chrysippus b ; and, 

b Cf. von Arnim, Stoicorum Veterum Fragment^ ii. 1104 
(p. 321). 

399 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(419) evxofievos ' evAoyxwv elSwXcov ' Tvyxdveiv, $r}\os l 
rjv erepa SvoTpdneXa /cat jjLoxOrjpas yiyvojoKOJV 
exovra rrpoaipiaeis tlvols /cat oppids. 

Hepl 8e davdrov tcov tolovtojv a/cq/coa Xoyov 

B dvSpos ovk d(f>povos oi)S' aAa^oVo?. AlpuXiavov 
yap tov prjTopos, oS /cat vjjlcov eVtot Sta/c^/coacrtr, 
K7n64parjs rjv rrar-qp, epids ttoXLtt]s /cat StSaor/caAos" 
ypapLfjLdTLKcbv. ovrpg ecjtrj irore 7tX4cx)V els 'ItolXlclv 
emfifjvaL vetbs epLTToptKa xP 7 lf iara KaL o^vx^oifs 
iTTLpdras dyovarjs' eojrepas 8* 17817 7repl tols 
'ExtvaSas vrjaovs d7Tooj3fjvai to Trvevpua, /cat tt)v 
vavv Siafiepo/uLevrjv ttXtjoLov yeveoOai Y[a^a>v m eypr\- 
yopevai Se tovs TrXeicrTovs, 7toXXovs Se /cat irlveiv 
en beSeLTTvrjKOTas- e£al(f>vr)s Se (f)covr)v dird rrjs 
vtjoov t<x)v Wa^cov aKovaOrjvai, Qoljjlovv tlvos fiofj 
kclXovvtos, tboTe davpud^eiv. 6 Se Qapuovs Alyv- 

Q 7Ttlos rjv KV^epvrjTrjs ov8e tcov epbTrXeovTCov yvtoptpios 
ttoXXoIs drr* OVOpLCLTOS. St? p^ev OVV KXrjOeVTCL 
GLOJ7TT]Crai, TO Se TpLTOV VTrCLKOVGOLL Tip kclXovvtc 

KaKeZvov e7rtretVai/ra 2 rr)v <f)covr)v etVetv, ' onoTav 3 
yevj) /cara to IlaXtooes, dVayyetAoy ort Hdv 6 
peyas TeOvrjKe.* tout* aKovoavTas 6 'Kiridepcrrjs 
etbrj irdvTas eKTrXayrjvar /cat StSovras* iavTois Xoyov 
c'tre TTOLrjaat fieXTiov et'77 to 7TpoaT€Tayp,€vov etre 
pr) 7ToXv7Tpayp,ov€LV dXA* eav, ovtcos yvcovai tov 
0a/ lovv, el p,ev etrf irvevpia, rrapairXelv rjovx^av 
k'xoi'Ta, vrjvepLias Se /cat yaXrivrfs rrepi tov toitov 

1 br/Xos Eusebius only, followed by WyHenbach; 17 SrjXos 
Pa to 11 : rj or 1) BijXos. 

2 eVtretVavra] i-mr^ivovra one ms. and one ms. of Eusebius. 

3 o-norav Eusebius : on orav. 

4 et /xev €trj Eusebius : iav /nev fj or tJi>. 

400 






OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 419 

in addition, Democritus, a by his prayer that he may 
meet with ' propitious spirits,' clearly recognized that 
there is another class of these which is perverse and 
possessed of vicious predilections and impulses. 

" As for death among such beings, I have heard the 
words of a man who was not a fool nor an impostor. 
The father of Aemilianus the orator, to whom some 
of you have listened, was Epitherses, who lived in 
our town and was my teacher in grammar. He said 
that once upon a time in making a voyage to Italy 
he embarked on a ship carrying freight and many 
passengers. It was already evening when, near the 
Echinades Islands, the wind dropped, and the ship 
drifted near Paxi. Almost everybody was awake, 
and a good many had not finished their after-dinner 
wine. Suddenly from the island of Paxi was heard 
the voice of someone loudly calling Thamus, so that 
all were amazed. Thamus was an Egyptian pilot, not 
known by name even to many on board. Twice he 
was called and made no reply, but the third time he 
answered ; and the caller, raising his voice, said, 
1 When you come opposite to Palodes, announce 
that Great Pan is dead/ On hearing this, all, said 
Epitherses, were astounded and reasoned among 
themselves whether it were better to carry out the 
order or to refuse to meddle and let the matter go. 
Under the circumstances Thamus made up his mind 
that if there should be a breeze, he would sail past 
and keep quiet, but with no wind and a smooth sea 

a Of. Dirls, Frag, der Vorsokratiker, ii. p. 94, Democritus, 
no. Hid ; and Life of Timoleon, chap. i. (235 b). 

401 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

D ysvofJLevrjs avsnrtiv o tjkqvozv. cos ovv iyevero 

(419) Kara to YlaAcoSes, ovre irvtvpLoros ovtos ovre 

kAvScovos, Ik TrpvjjLvrjs fSAzirovTa tov Qafiovv 77009 

TTjV yrjV €L7T€LV, COOTTep TjKOVUtV, OTl U OLV 6 [xiyOLS 1 

reOvrjKev. ov (j)6rjvat §€ Travoajievov avrov Kal 
yeveodai fieyav oi>x evos dAAd 77oAAa>v OTtvayfxov 
a/xa OavjJLaofjLtp pL^pLeLypuevov. ola Se noAAtov 
dvdpcoircov irapovTCOv, 7a^u tov Aoyov iv f P coper] 
OKehaadrjvai, Kal tov Qapbovv yeveodat pLerd' 

7T€pLTTTOV V7TO TifiepLOV KatOapOS". OVTCO §€ 771- 

ortvoai Tip Aoyco tov Tifiepiov, cogt€ hiarrwddveodai 
Kal ^rjTetv rrepl tov Ylavos * €LKa^€LV Se tovs irepl 
avTov <f>tAoA6yov$ ovx^ovs ovTas tov ££ c Ep/xoi) 
E Kal YlrjveAoTrrjs yeyevrjfzevov ." 

'0 fJL€V OVV <$>lAl7T7TOS £t^€ Kal TCOV TTapoVTOJV 

iviovs (xdpTVpas, AlpaAtavov tov yepovTos d/C77- 
KooTas. 

18. '0 oe ArjfJLrjTpiog zcfyrj tcov irepl ttjv Bper- 
Tavlav vrjocov etvai 7roAAds eprjpiovs omopaSas , cov 
iitas 8atfxova>v Kal rjpcocov ovo p J dt > eo 6 at' rrAevoai 
§€ avTos loTopias Kal 64as eVe/ca 7Top,7rfj 2 tov 
fiaotAecos els tt)v eyyiara K€LpL€vrjv tcov eprjpcov, 

€%OVOaV OV KoAAoVS €7TOLKOVVTaS UpOVS Se Kal 

acrvAovs ndvTas vtto tcov TUpeTTavcov ovTas. 
d<j>iKop,£vov 8' avTov vzcootl, ovyxvoLV pceydArjv 
77£oi tov depa Kal Stoorrj pitas TToAAas 1 yeveodai Kal 
F nvevfiara KaTappayrjvac Kal neaelv 7TprjoTYJpas' 
iirel 8' eAco(j>rjO€, Aeyetv tovs vrjoicoTas otl tcov 
KpeiTTovcov twos eKAecipis yiyovev. " cos ydp 

1 Wav 6 ficyas (as above) one ms. of Eusebius : 6 fityas Ildv. 
2 TTOfiTTij Leon ions : TToynr-qs. 

402 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 419 

about the place he would announce what he had 
heard. So, when he came opposite Palodes, and 
there was neither wind nor wave, Thamus from the 
stern, looking toward the land, said the words as he 
had heard them : ' Great Pan is dead.' Even before 
lie had finished there was a great cry of lamenta- 
tion, not of one person, but of many, mingled with 
exclamations of amazement. As many persons were 
on the vessel, the story was soon spread abroad in 
Rome, and Thamus was sent for by Tiberius Caesar. 
Tiberius became so convinced of the truth of the 
story that he caused an inquiry and investigation to 
be made about Pan ; and the scholars, who were 
numerous at his court, conjectured that he was the 
son born of Hermes and Penelope." a 

Moreover, Philip had several witnesses among 
the persons present who had been pupils of the old 
man Aemilianus. 

18. Demetrius said that among the islands lying 
near Britain b were many isolated, having few or 
no inhabitants, some of which bore the names of 
divinities or heroes. He himself, by the emperor's 
order, had made a voyage for inquiry and observation 
to the nearest of these islands which had only a few 
inhabitants, holy men who were all held inviolate by 
the Britons. Shortly after his arrival there occurred 
a great tumult in the air and many portents ; violent 
winds suddenly swept down and lightning-flashes 
darted to earth. When these abated, the people of 
the island said that the passing of someone of the 
mightier souls had befallen. " For," said they, " as 

a Of. Herodotus, ii. 145. 

6 Presumably the Scilly islands ; cf. Moralia, 941 a- 
942 a. 

403 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

\vx u °S dvaTTTOfievos," <f>dvai, " heivov ovhev e*x €L 
of5evvvi±€vos he ttoAAois Avrriqpos eoTiv, ovtojs al 
fxeydAat i/jvxclI ras l^ev dvaAdpa/jeis evfxevels Kal 
dXv7rovs k'xovatv, al he ofieveis clvtujv koll c/)6opal 
7ToXXdt<is fjL€v, cos vvvi, TTvtvfiaTCL Kal £dAas Tpe- 
<f>ovoi* ttoXXolkls he AoifjLLKols Trddewi tov 2 depa 
420 fyappLarTovoiv." eKel fievTOt fjicav elvai vrjaov, ev 
fj tov Kpovov Ka8/ipxdcLi (frpovpovpuevov vtto tov 
Jjpiapeoj KadcuSovra* hecrfiov yap avrco tov vttvov 
(jL€f.irjxavrjo 6 at 9 ttoAAovs he irtpl avrov elvai hai- 
/xovas dirahovs Kal uepdirovTas. 

19. e Y7roAaj8a>i> 8' 6 KAeopfipoTos, " ex<*> fiev," 
e<f>r}, " Kal eycb roiavra hceAdetv, dpKel he npos rrjv 
vnoQeoiv to paqhev evavriovodai fiyhe KwAveiv* 
exeiv ovtoj ravTa. /catrot tovs Utojlkovs ," €<f>rj 9 

ytyvojaKofxev ov jjlovov Kara haifxovojv rjv Aeyoj 

ho^av exovTas, dAAd Kal 6ea>v ovtojv tooovtojv to 

ttAtjOos evl xpwjJLtvovs cuSico Kal acfrddpTOj, tovs 

B 3* aAAovs Kal yeyov evai Kal <f>6aprjoeoQai vopi- 

£ovTas. 

" 'EniKovpeiajv he xAevaapLOVS Kal ye'Acoras ov 
tl <j>of5r)Teov, oh roA/xcocn xPV a ^ ai KaL KaT< * T ^ 
TTpovoias fivOov aVTrfV aTTOKoAoVVT€S . rjfieLS he 
rrjv aTteiplav fxvdov elvai cfrafiev ev Koofiotg tooov- 
tols jJirjoeva Aoyco Oeico Kvf5epvojp,evov k'xovoav, 
dAAd iravTas €K TavTOfiaTov Kal yeyovoTas Kal 
GWLGTapievovs . el he XPV yeAav ev <f)iAoGO(j)ia s tol 
eihcoAa yeAavTeov tol Koxj>d Kal TV(f)Ad Kal onjjvx 

1 rp€(f)OV(n Eusebius : rpkirovai^ or Tpenovoai. 
2 rov in Eusebius only. 3 KwXveiv Xy lander: kcoXvolv. 

Of. the interesting account which Plutarch gives in 
404 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 419-420 

a lamp when it is being lighted has no terrors, but 
when it goes out is distressing to many, so the great 
souls have a kindling into life that is gentle and in- 
offensive, but their passing and dissolution often, as 
at the present moment, fosters tempests and storms, 
and often infects the air with pestilential properties." 
Moreover, they said that in this part of the world 
there is one island where Cronus is confined, guarded 
while he sleeps by Briareus ; for his sleep has been 
devised as a bondage for him, and round about him 
are many demigods as attendants and servants. 

19. Cleombrotus here took up the conversation and 
said, " I too have similar stories to tell, but it is 
sufficient for our purpose that nothing contravenes 
or prevents these things from being so. Yet we 
know," he continued, " that the Stoics b entertain 
the opinion that I mention, not only against the demi- 
gods, but they also hold that among the gods, who 
are so very numerous, there is only one who is eternal 
and immortal, and the others they believe have come 
into being, and will suffer dissolution. 

11 As for the scoffing and sneers of the Epicureans ° 
which they dare to employ against Providence also, 
calling it nothing but a myth, we need have no fear. 
We, on the other hand, say that their ' Infinity ' is a 
myth, which among so many worlds has not one that 
is directed by divine reason, but will have them all 
produced by spontaneous generation and concretion. 
If there is need for laughter in philosophy, we should 
laugh at those spirits, dumb, blind, and soulless, which 

lUuralia, 941 a ff., and Lucretius's statement that a smoulder- 
ing lamp may cause apoplexy. 

b Cf. von Arnim, Stoicorum Veterum Fragment a, ii. 1040 
(p. 30*9). 

c H. Usener, Eplvurea (Leipzig, 1887), 394. 

405 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(420) a 1 TTOifxaivovoiv 2 dirXerovs ira>v nepioSovs em- 

(fxiivoixeva /cat 7TepivooTovvra 7ravTT7, ra /xei> It* 

C i^covrcov rd Se rraAat /caTa/caeVraw 77 KaraaaTiivTiov 

OLTTOppvePTCL, (f>Xe86vaS KCLL GK tag e\KOVT€S €t9 

</>v a toXoy lav , aV Se (£77 Tt? €&>at oal[iovas ov cfivoci 
fiovov aAAct Kal Aoyots' 3 /cat to ocp&adai Kal 
oiap,€V€Lv noXvv \povov exovras y Bua/coAaiVovTes\ M4 
20. 'PrjOevrtov Se tovtojv 6 'AjLt/zaWos, " 6p6ws" 
€<f>rj, " fiOL 8oK€i ®eo<f)paoTO$ arro^rjvaodaL' rl yap 
kojXv€l (f>a>vrjv hi^aadai aeyLvr\v /cat c/)iXooo(j)aj- 
rdrrjv; Kal yap dderovfievrj rroXXd rcbv evoexo- 
fjLevtov a7TOO€ix8fjvai oe p,7] hvvajxevojv dvaipei, /cat 

TL0€fl€V7) TToAAa 6 OVl'€(f)€XK€Tai TO)V doVvdrOJV Kal 
aVVTTapKTOJV . O [xivTOL fJLOVOV aKTjKOa TtOV 'E77t- 

D Kovpelajv Xtyovruyv rrpos rovs etaayo/xeVous vtt* 
'E/x77e8o/cA€Oi;s' 8alpLovas, a>s" ov ovvarov iart 6 
<f>avXovs Kal dfJLaprrjTtKovs ovras /xa/captous 1 /cat 
p,aKpalu)va$ elvai, ttoXXtjv rvcf)X6rrjra Trjs /ca/ct'a? 

€XOVCT7]S Kal TO 7T€pi7TTO)TLK6v Tols aV ai pCT I KO IS , 
€VK]0is ioTTLV. OVTO) ydp 'EiTTLKOVpOS T€ ^€tpOJl^ 

Yopyiov (fyavetTat rov ao<f>tarov Kal M.7]Tp6bu>pos 
'AXegiSos rod ko) picoo lotto tod ? hnrXaoiov ydp 
ovros etprjoe rod MrjrpoSajpov, 'EmKovpov S' 
€K€ivos irXeov fj €7TLTpirov. aAAa>? yap laxvpov 

1 oajivx a F.C.B. (there is some warrant for such elisions); 
aipvxcL a Wyttenbach : a^u^a. 

2 iroifialvovaw Wyttenbach : not fievovmv. 

3 Xoyois] Xoyw Stegmann. 

4 Sv(jKo\aivovT€S Emperius : hvoKoXaivovTas. 

5 rroXXa] ov noXXa Xylander. Pohlenz assumes a lacuna 
after awndpKTOjv. 

6 inn] elrai in many mss. 

7 kw(juo&io7toiov the preferred form : kojiiwBottoiov. 

406 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 420 

they shepherd for boundless cycles of years, and which 
make their returning appearance everywhere, some 
floating away from the bodies of persons still living, 
others from bodies long ago burned or decayed, 
whereby these philosophers drag witlessness and 
obscurity into the study of natural phenomena ; but 
if anyone asserts that such demigods exist, not only 
for physical reasons, but also for logical reasons, and 
that they have the power of self-preservation and 
continued life for a long time, then these philosophers 
feel much aggrieved." 

20. After these remarks Ammonius said, " It 
seems to me that Theophrastus was right in his 
pronouncement. What, in fact, is there to prevent 
our accepting an utterance that is impressive and 
most highly philosophical ? For if it be rejected, it 
does away with many things which are possible but 
cannot be proved ; and if it be allowed as a principle, 
it brings in its train many things that are impossible 
or non-existent. a The one thing that I have heard 
the Epicureans say with reference to the demigods 
introduced by Empedocles b is that it is not possible, 
if they are bad and sinful, that they should be happy 
and of long life, inasmuch as vice has a large measure 
of blindness and the tendency to encounter destruc- 
tive agencies, so that argument of theirs is silly. For 
by this reasoning Epicurus will be shown to be a 
worse man than Gorgias the sophist, and Metrodorus 
worse than Alexis the comic poet ; for Alexis lived 
twice as long as Metrodorus and Gorgias more than 
a third as long again as Epicurus. It is in another 

° Some editors would insert a negative in the last sentence. 
b Diets, Frag, der Vorsokratiker, i. 267, Empedocles, 
no. b 115. 

407 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

dperrjv /cat /ca/ctW doOevks Xeyopiev, ov irpos Sta- 
E (JLOvrjV /cat SidAvaiv awpbaros' eVet /cat toV drjpiojv 1 
ttoXXol [Lev 2 SvaKivqra /cat va>6pd rat? i/fi^at? ovTa 
TToAAa S* d/cdAaora /cat (xra/cra tcov ow€touv /cat 
iravovpycov XP° V0VS tfi p^o-Kporepovs . odev ovk 
ev to) deep rrjv diSiorrjra ttolovglv e/c <f>vXaKrjs 
/cat SiaKpovorecos rwv dvaipzriKcov . e'Set yd/o eV 
ttJ <f>v<J€i rod pLOLKapiov to dnades /cat d(f>6apTov 
elvai, p,rjhe p,ias rr pay part Las oeop,evov. dAA' tact)? 
to Xlyetv irpos p>r) Trapovrag ovk evyvajpiov <j>ai- 
verai. irdXtv ovv 6 YsXeopbfSporos y\plv ov dpn 
nepl rrjs pLeraardaeaJS /cat cfyvyfjs rtov haipoviojv 
F d(f>iJK€ Adyov dvaAajSetv St/catd? €<m/ J 

21. Kat o KAedjitjSpOTos', " aAAd Qavp,dcraipu av," 
etnev, el purj noXv <f>alv€Tac tcov elpr^pbiviov vpZv* 
droTTOJTepos. Kairot So/cet <f>vaioXoyias e'xeaflat, /cat 
riAaTOiv avTo) Trapea)(€ to eVSdot/xof ov)( drrXcos 
d7TO(f)rjvdp€vos e/c Sd^s" S' 4 dpuavpas /cat vrrovoiav 
ep,f$aXtbv alviyparwhrj pier evXafieias* dAA' o/xa)? 
7roAAi7 yeyove KaKelvov KaTaporjais vtto tcjv dXXojv 
421 <j>iXov6<f>cov. eVet Se pvOcov /cat Adyan> dvapepLeiy- 
pevojv Kparrjp iv pbtacp TrpoKeiTat (Kat 7rou Tts dv 6 
evp,ev€GT€pois aKpoardts imrv^ibv wonep vopLt- 
cr/xaTa £ew/cd Toirrous' hoKipbdoeie rovs Xoyovs;), 
ovk oKvto* xapi^eadat fiapfidpov Sirfyrjaiv dvSpos, ov 

1 Orjpiwv Wyttenbach : delcov. 

2 /Lt€v added by Reiske. 3 vfiiv] rjfjuv in many mss. 

4 8' added by Leonicus. 

5 7tou Tt? av Emperius : irov ris iv. 

6 ovk oKveo] ov% opcb in all mss. but one. 

408 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 420-421 

sense that we speak of virtue as something strong, 
and vice as something weak, not with reference to 
permanence or dissolution of the body. For example, 
many of the animals that are sluggish in move- 
ment and slow in their reactions and many that are 
lascivious and ungovernable live a longer time than 
the quick and the clever. Therefore they do not 
well who make God's eternal existence to be the 
result of watchfulness and the thrusting aside of 
destructive agencies. No, immunity from emotion 
and destruction ought to reside in the blessed Being, 
and should require no activity on His part. Perhaps, 
however, to speak thus with reference to people that 
are not present does not show great consideration. 
So it is right that Cleombrotus should resume the 
topic which he discontinued a few moments ago 
about the migration and flight of the demigods." 

21. Then Cleombrotus continued, " I shall be sur- 
prised if it does not appear to you much more strange 
than what has already been said. Yet it seems to be 
close to the subject of natural phenomena and Plato a 
has given the key-note for it, not by an unqualified 
pronouncement, but as the result of a vague concept, 
cautiously suggesting also the underlying idea in an 
enigmatic way ; but, for all that, there has been loud 
disparagement of him on the part of other philo- 
sophers. But there is set before us for general use a 
bowl of myths and stories combined, and where could 
one meet with more kindly listeners for testing these 
stories, even as one tests coins from foreign lands ? 
So I do not hesitate to favour you with a narrative 
about a man, not a Greek, whom I had great difficulty 
in finding, and then only by dint of long wanderings, 

° C/. 421 f, infra, 

409 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(421) nXdvais noXXals /cat prqvvrpa reXeaas fieydXa, rrepl 
rrjv 'JLpvOpdv OdXarrav dvOpooirois dva rrav eros 
aTra£ evrvyydvovra rdXXa Se avvovra 1 vvfufxiis 
vofxacn kclI Sat/xoatv, cos e'(/>aa/ce, jjloXls e^avevpcov 
erv^pv Xoyov /cat (f)tXo(f)poovvr]s . KaXXtoros jxkv rjv 
B cov eiSov dvOpcoircov 6<j>6r)vai voaov re rrdor]s dmaO-qs 
Stere'Aet, Kapnov riva rroas (f>ap[iaKco8r] Kal TTiKpov 
e/caarov parjvos aTpat; TTpoo<j>ep6pLevos m yXcorrais Se 
TToXXals rjcrKrjTO xPV a @ ac > ^pos S* ifie rd ttXzlgtov 
ehcopi^ev ov TToppoo p,eXcov . (frdeyyofievov Se rov 
tottov evcooia /caret^e rov aroparos rjSiorov diro- 
TTveovros- r) ftev ovv aXXr) pddrjois Kal ioropia 
crvvrjv avrcp rov rrdvra \povov els Se pavrtKr)v ev- 
envelro (JLiCLV rjpiepav erovs eKaorov Kal rr poeO eomt.e 
Kancov eVt OdXarrav, eire<f>oircov Se Kal Svvdorat 
Kal ypapLpuareis fiacnXecov etr* airr^eoav. eKelvos 
ovv rr)v pbavrtKrjv dvrjyev els oaipovas' TrXeXarov 2 Se 
C AeX<f>cov Xoyov el^e, Kal rcov 3 Xeyofievcov rrepl rov 
Atovvaov evravda Kal Spcopevcov lepcov ovSevos 
dvrjKOOS rjv, aAAa KaKelva Sacpuovcov e^aoKev elvai 
7rddrj jxeydXa /cat ravra Srj rd* irepl Ylv9cova. b rep 
S' arroKrelvavri firjr evvea ercov pryr els rd Tepbrn] 
yeveodai \xera rovro* rrjv (frvyrjv, aXX eKireoovr 
eXdetv els erepov Kovpuov 7 • varepov S' eKeldev evtav- 
rcov fjieydXcov evvea TreptoSots dyvov yevop,evov Kal 

1 avvovra Reiske : ovv rats. 

2 irXeiorov Eusebius : rjoiarov. 

3 koX tojv Eusebius and one ms. : /ecu ncpl t&v. 

4 t6\ Eusebius and E. 

5 HvOcuva] tV Uvdlav Eusebius. 

6 fiera. tovto Paton : /xera rod or /zero, to. 

7 ttjv <f>vyn]v . . . Koofiov Eusebius : <f>vy€iv clvtov tKneoovra 

KOOfJLOV. 

410 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 421 

and after paying large sums for information. It 
was near the Persian Gulf that I found him, where he 
holds a meeting with human beings once every year ; 
and there I had an opportunity to talk with him and 
met with a kindly reception. The other days of his 
life, according to his statement, he spends in associa- 
tion with roving nymphs and demigods. He was the 
handsomest man I ever saw in personal appearance 
and he never suffered from any disease, inasmuch as 
once each month he partook of the medicinal and 
bitter fruit of a certain herb. He was practised in the 
use of many tongues ; but with me, for the most part, 
he spoke a Doric which was almost music. While he 
was speaking, a fragrance overspread the place, as 
his mouth breathed forth a most pleasant perfume. 
Besides his learning and his knowledge of history, 
always at his command, he was inspired to prophesy 
one day in each year when he went down to the 
sea and told of the future. Potentates and kings' 
secretaries would come each year and depart. His 
power of prophecy he referred to the demigods. He 
made most account of Delphi and there was none of 
the stories told of Dionysus or of the rites performed 
here of which he had not heard ; these too he asserted 
were the momentous experiences of the demigods 
and so, plainly, were those which had to do with 
the Python. And upon the slayer of that monster 
was not imposed an exile of eight full years, nor. 
following this, was he exiled to Tempe ; but after 
he was expelled, he fared forth to another world, 
and later, returning from there, after eight cycles 
of the Great Years, pure and truly the ' Radiant 

a Cf. Moralia, 293 B-c. 

411 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(421) Oot/Joy ojs dXrjdws 1 KareXdovra 2 ro xP 7 ] CTri lP LOV 
irapaXafieZv , reojs vtto QepuSos (ftvXarropbevov . ovrcos 
8* €)(€tv 3 /cat Ta lv(f)a>VLKa Kal ra Ttravt/ca* Sat- 
jjLovojv fiaxa-s yeyovivai irpos Sat/zovas 1 , etra fyvyds 
D to)v KpariqOevrojv Tj St/cas" 4 vtto deov rG)v e^apuap- 
tovtgjv, ota Tvcjxjjv Xeyerai Trepl "Ocrcpiv e^aptaprelv 
Kal l&povos Trepl OvpavoVy Jjv dpuavporepat yeyo- 
vaoiv at rtjLtat Trap rjpZv 5 rj Kal Travrdiraaiv £k- 
XeXoLTraai, jxeraoravriov et? erepov kou\xov. eirel 
Kal HoXvpLovs 7Tvv6dvofiai rovs Avklojv TTpOVOlKOVS 
iv tols fjLaXiora rt/xdV rov KpoVov irrel 8' a/7ro- 
KT€ivas rovs apxpvras avrcov, "ApoaXov Kal Apvov* 
Kal T pa>Gofii6v ? e(f)vye Kal puerexcoprjoev 077-01877- 

7TOT€ (tOVTO ydp 0VK €XOVCFLV eLTTeZv), €K€LVOV 9 [X€V 

dfJLtXrjOrjvaL, rovs 8e Trepl rov "ApoaXov oKippovs 9 
deovs rrpooayopeveodai , /cat rag Kardpas em rov- 
rcov 10 TTOielodat Sri/xocrta /cat tSta AvkIovs. tovtols 
E /xeV ovv o/xota 7roAAa XafieZv eariv c/c rcov OeoXoyov- 
fievojv. 11 ' el Se roZs vevopaofxevoLS rcov decov ovo- 
fxaot SaLjAovds rivas KaXovp,ev, ov davpbaoreov,' 
elirev 6 £evo$' ' to yap e/caaros* Beta ovvreraKrai /cat 
Trap* ov hwdpecos Kal ripbfjs e'lXrjxev, 12 drro rovrov 
cfrtXeZ KaXeloOai. Kal ydp rjpicov 6 puev ris eon 
Ato? 13 6 8' ' AOrjvaZos 6 8' ' AttoXXcovios t) Aiovvcnos 

1 <Ls aXrjdws Eusebius: aX-qd&s. 

2 KCLTcXdovra Eusebius : kol iXdomra. 

3 <ex€lv Eusebius : e^ei. 

4 hiKas Eusebius and D : Sikcoiois or §i/catc6o , eis > . 

5 TLfial Trap* 17/ziv Eusebius : rifxal. 

6 Apvov] "Apvov Theodoretus ; apoiov or dpvrov Eusebius. 

7 T Tpoioo^Lov] Tooipiv Eusebius: TpuHJofitv, Tdai/fev, or Toaofiiv 

8 eVetvov Eusebius and Theodoretus : eWVous. 

9 oKippovs (oKtpovs) Eusebius and Theodoretus : oi<Xr)povs. 

10 tovtcov Eusebius and Theodoretus : tovtw. 

412 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 421 

One/ he took over the oracle which had been 
guarded during this time by Themis. Such also, he 
said, were the stories about Typhons and Titans a ; 
battles of demigods against demigods had taken 
place, followed by the exile of the vanquished, or else 
judgement inflicted by a god upon the sinners, as, for 
example, for the sin which Typhon is said to have 
committed in the case of Osiris, or Cronus in the case 
of Uranus ; and the honours once paid to these 
deities have become quite dim to our eyes or have 
vanished altogether when the deities were transferred 
to another world. In fact, I learn that the Solymi, 
who live next to the Lycians, paid especial honour to 
Cronus. But when he had slain their rulers, Arsalus, 
Dryus, and Trosobius, he fled away from that place 
to some place or other, where they cannot say ; and 
then he ceased to be regarded, but Arsalus and those 
connected with him are called the ' stern gods,' and 
the Lycians employ their names in invoking curses 
both in public and in private. Many accounts 
similar to these are to be had from theological 
history. But, as that man said, if we call some of the 
demigods by the current name of gods, that is no cause 
for wonder ; for each of them is wont to be called 
after that god with whom he is allied and from whom 
he has derived his portion of power and honour. In 
fact, among ourselves one of us is Dius, another 
Athenaeus, another Apollonius or Dionysius or 

• Cf. 360 f, svpra. 

11 dtoXoyovudvcDv] fivdoXoyovfievojv in some ihss. and Euscbius. 

12 irap 1 o£ 8wdfJL€a)S . . . *"hyX €V ] ov rfjs dwdficcos . . . /xct- 
€i\nx€v I'usebius. 

13 Aios Kusebius (cf. Cronert, Hermes, xxxvii. 226) : huos. 

413 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

tj 'Ep/zaios' aAA* evioi /zeV 6p6a>s Kara rv\r]v 
iKXrjB-qoav, ol Se ttoXXoI /jltjozv Trpoo'qKovoas aAA' 
eV^AAay/xeVa? iKTrjaavro 6ea>v Trapoivv pitas" 
F 22. YtiamrioavTos 8e tov KAeo/x/Jporou nraoi fiev 
6 Xoyos i<f>dv7) davjiaaros. tov 8' 'H/oa/cAeWo? 
t:vQo\x£vov TTjj 1 Tavra TTpo<jr\K€i 2 WXaTOJVi Kal nwg 
€K€ivos to evbocn/AOV rep Xoyco rovrcp rrapeoyzv , o 
KXeopifipOTOs, " ev jivr\piOvev€is" eiTTev, "on rrji' 
422 fiev a7T€Lplav avrodev aniyvo* rwv Koofxojv, rrepl §e 

TtXtjOoV^ OJpLGjJL€VOV 8irj7TOp7]0€ , Kal ^X? 1 T ^ V 7T ^ VTe 
TOLS V7TOTLd€fA€VOlS KaTOL OTOCX^tOV €Va KOGjlOV €7TL- 

Xtoprjaas to €ikos, avTos eavTov e</>' ivos iTTjprjaev. 
Kal Sok€l tovto UXaTajvos tStov elvai, rchv d'XXojv 
a<f>68pa <f)of$r}84vTOJv z to 7rXrj9os, ojs tovs eVi* ttjp 
vXt]v fir) opioavTas aAA' eK^avras €vdvs doptOTOV 
Kal x a ^ €7J "*js amiptas v7ToXap,pavovor)s ." 

(J 06 qevos, €<prjv eya), rrepi 7TArjuovg Koopiojv 
a>pt^€V fj & YlXaTa>v ij, ore ovveyevov* ra> dvSpl 
TOVTO) y ovSe oi€7T€Lpd6r}s ; " 

1 'AAA' ovk efieXXav/' etnev 6 KAe oiijSporos, " €t 

B fX7]8ev dXXo, tCjv % rrepl Tavra Xi7raprjs 6t^at Kal 

irpodviLOS aKpoarrfs, ivSiSovros eavTOV lAecop /cat 

TrapixovTos ; eXeye Se psqr anelpovs fitfd* €va firjTe 

TT€VT€ KOGjJLOVS, dAAct Tp€L$ Kal SySoTjKOVTa Kal 

eKaTov €ivac ovvTeraypLevovs Kara a^/ia Tpiyojvo- 

1 7rj} Turnebus : /x^. 

2 7TpO(77?K€l] 1Tp0arfK€lV \Ti HlOSt MSS. 

3 <f)oprj9evrwv\ (f>op7j9 euros Paton. 

4 4vl Wyttenbach : enl. 

5 77 Xy lander: 77. 

6 ij, ore ow€y4vov Xylander followed by Wyttenbach : odev 
€v iyti'ov. 

7 tovtw] tovtojv Michael. 8 tojv Meziriacus : t$. 
414 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 421-422 

Hermaeus ; but only some of us have, by chance, been 
rightly named ; the majority have received names 
derived from the gods which bear no relation to the 
persons, but are only a travesty." 

22. Cleombrotus said nothing more, and his account 
appeared marvellous to all. But when Heracleon 
inquired in what way this was related to Plato and 
how he had given the key-note for this topic, Cleom- 
brotus said, " You well remember that he summarily 
decided against an infinite number of worlds, but had 
doubts about a limited number ; and up to five ° 
he conceded a reasonable probability to those who 
postulated one world to correspond to each element, 
but, for himself, he kept to one. This seems to be 
peculiar to Plato, for the other philosophers con- 
ceived a fear of plurality, 6 feeling that if they did 
not limit matter to one world, but went beyond one, 
an unlimited and embarrassing infinity would at once 
fasten itself upon them." 

" But," said I, " did your far-away friend set a 
limit to the number of worlds, as Plato did, or did you 
not go so far as to sound him on this point when you 
had your interview with him ? " 

" Was it not likely," said Cleombrotus, " that on 
anything touching these matters, if on nothing else, 
I should be an inquisitive and eager listener, when he 
so graciously put himself at my disposal and gave me 
the opportunity ? He said that the worlds are not 
infinite in number, nor one, nor five, but one hundred 
and eighty-three, 6 arranged in the form of a triangle, 

a Cf. Plato, Timaeus, 55 c-d ; Moralia, 389 f, supra, and 
430 b, infra. , 

b Cf Aristotle, De Caelo, i. 8 (276 a 18). 
c Cf. Proclus on Plato, Timaeus, p. 138 b. 

415 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(422) eihes, ov TrXevpav e/cdc7T7}v ifJTjKovra Kocrfjiovs e^etv 
rpiow Se tlov Xoittwv eKaarov iSpvcrOai Kara yajvlav, 
a7TT<=a6ai Se tovs i(f>e£;rj$ aXXrjXojv arpefjia Trepi- 
tovras iOGTrep iv ^opeia- to 8' ivros i7TLTreSov rod 
rpvydovov koivtjv Ivriav etvat ttolvtoiv, /caAeta#at S<s 
TTehiov aXrjOeias, iv to tovs Xoyovs Kal rd eiSr) Kal 
Cra 7rapa8€ty/uLara tojv ycyoyoTOW Kal twv yevnao- 
jxevcoi* aKLvrjra KetpOat, Kal rrcpl aura rod aicovos 
ovros olov aTroppor)V irrl tovs KoofJLovs 1 <f>4p€adat 
top xP° vov * ty lv ^ tovtojv Kal Oiav xfjvx^s 
arOpamivaLS a.7ra£ iv ereai fAvpiots imdpxcw, av y' 
ev pLcooajoL' Kal t<jl)v ivravda reAer&v rag apLaras 
€K€wrjs oveipov ecvai ttjs irrorrTeias /cat reAerrJs" /cat 
tovs Xoyovs dvafivijaecos 2 eveKa tcov €/cet <£iAocro<£ct- 
cr#at koXcov fj \xaT7\v rrepaiveadai, ravr V ^77 , 3 
if Trepl tovtojv /jLvOoXoyovvros tJkovov dr^x^s 
Ka6a7T€p iv TeXerfj Kal puvrjaet, paqhepiiav dnoSei^Lv 
rov Xoyov fjirjSe ttlotlv irncfripovTos ." 

23. Kdyco tov [±rr\p,r\Tpiov Trpoaayopevaas, ' 7ra>s 

D *X €L >" G*!* 7 ) 1 '' * ra T ^ v flVyjGTqpCOV €7T7J, TOV 'OSua- 

aia davpcaaavTajv to to^ov pLeTax^^p^dpievov » " 
VTropLvrjadevTOS 8e tov ArjfirjTpiov, " ravr \" e(f>rjv, 

€T7€p)(€TaL KOLflol 7T€pl TOV £eVOV €L7T€LV 

rj tls OrjrjTrjp 4, Kal €7TikXo7tos €7tXcto 

Soypbdrcov re /cat Xoytov 7ravTo8a7Ttov , Kal iroXwrrXa- 
vrjs iv ypa/x/xacrt /cat ov fidpfiapos aAA' "EXXrjv yivos 
r\v t TroXArjs 'EXArjviSos piovarjs dvaTrXecos- iXiyx^ 
8' avTOv 6 tcov Kocrpiwv apidp,6s ovk tbv AlyvTTTios 

1 koojiovs] xp° vov s in a ^ MSS « but one (E). 
2 avafivijaccos Wyttenbach : dv€fiv7]0€v or dvefxvrjoas. 
3 €<f>r] Meziriacus: l^-qv. 4 ft^r^pIlomtT: BiiprjTrjp. 

416 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 422 

each side of the triangle having sixty worlds ; of the 
three left over each is placed at an angle, and those 
that are next to one other are in contact and revolve 
gently as in a dance. The inner area of the triangle is 
the common hearth of all, and is called the Plain of 
Truth, in which the accounts, the forms, and the 
patterns of all things that have come to pass and of 
all that shall come to pass rest undisturbed ; and 
round about them lies Eternity, whence Time, like 
an ever-flowing stream, is conveyed to the worlds. 
Opportunity to see and to contemplate these things 
is vouchsafed to human souls once in ten thousand 
years if they have lived goodly lives ; and the best of 
the initiatory rites here are but a dream of that 
highest rite and initiation ; and the w r ords of our 
philosophic inquiry are framed to recall these fair 
sights there — else is our labour vain. This," said he, 
" is the tale I heard him recite quite as though it 
were in some rite of mystic initiation, but without 
offering any demonstration or proof of what he 
said." 

23. Then I, addressing Demetrius, said, " How do 
the verses about the suitors run, when they are 
marvelling at Odysseus as he handles the bow ? " 
And when Demetrius had recalled them to my mind, 
I said, " It occurs to me to say this of your far-away 
friend : 

Surely he liked to see, or else was given to filching • 

beliefs and tales of all sorts. He had ranged widely 
in literature and was no foreigner, but a Greek by 
birth, and replete with Greek culture to a high degree. 
The number of his worlds convicts him, since it is not 

• Homer, Od. xxi. 397. 

417 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

01)8' 'I^So? aAAa, &a>pt,€v$ drro St/ceAtas", di>8pos 
'IfjiepcLLOv rovvofia Herpojvos* avrov puev €K€tvov 
PlPAlSlov ovk dveyvajv ovV oX8a 8 taacp £d fievov 

E "lirnvs 8* 6 'Prjytvos, ov fjL€fjLPr)TOU <f>avlas 6 'Epecrios, 1 
loropet 86£av etvat ravrr]v Herpojvos Kal \6yov, d)s 
€Karov Kal oySo-qKovra Kal rpels Koopiovs ovras 
aiTTOfievovs 8' dX\rjXa>v Kara oroi\<dov 9 o tl 817 
rovr* iori, Kara PToiyeiov drrreodaL, fj/fj irpoohia- 
oa<f>a)v /X77S' aXXr)v rivd TTiQavorryra TTpooaTTrojv." 

'YiroAafiajv 8' d 2 ArjpLrjrpios, " ris 8' aV/' €L7T€v, 
tl iv tolovtols rrpdyfjiacnv etrj Tndavorrjs , orrov Kal 
arcov ovoev €nra)v evAoyov ovo €lkos ovtcj 
KareflaAe rov Aoyov ; " 

Kat o rlpaKAeajv, aAAa fxrjv vpLOJV, €<pr), rojv 

jp ypafAfiaTLKtov aKovopcev els "Opbrjpov dvayovrojv z rr)v 
86£av, J)s €K€wov to irav els nevre Koaptovs Sca- 
vepcovros, ovpavov v8a>p d4pa yrjv oAvpLirov. d>v rd 
[lev ovo Kotva KaraAetTTei, yrjv pcev rod Kara) iravros 
ovcrav, oAvpLnov 8e rov dva> 7ravros % oi 8' iv fxeocp 
rpels rols rpiol deols aTT€o66it]oav. ovra) Se Kal 
HAdrojv eoiKC rd KaAAiora Kal 7Tpa>ra owpudrajv 
eiBr] Kal ayripuara ovvvipiojv rats rov oAov 8ta(f)opals 
423 it&vre Koaptovs KaAetv, rov yrjs rov v8aros rov depos 
rov nvpos, eoxarov Se rov irepii^ovra rovrovs, rov 
rov SojSeKaeSpov, ttoAvxvtov Kal TroAvrpeirrov, cS 4 
ptdAtora 8r) rats i/jvx^f<ats 7T€pt68ots Kal KtvrjoeoL 
Trpenov axrjpia Kal avvapptorrov direSajKe." 

1 'Epcmos Xylander : alpiatos. 2 8' 6 Bernardakis : 8e. 

3 avayovrcuv Stegmann : ayovrajv. 

4 co] cos in most mss. (a common error). 

a Frag. 6, Miiller, Frag. Hist. Graec. vol. ii. p. 14. 
6 Frag. 22, Miiller, Frag. Hist. Graec. vol. ii. p. 300. 
418 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 422-423 

Egyptian nor Indian, but Dorian and from Sicily, 
being the idea of a man of Himera named Petron. 
Petron 's own treatise I have never read nor am I sure 
that a copy is now extant ; but Hippys of Rhegium, 
whom Phanias b of Eresus mentions, records that this 
was the opinion and the account of it given by 
Petron : that there are one hundred and eighty-three 
worlds in contact with one another according to 
element ; but what this is, ' to be in contact according 
to element/ he does not explain further nor subjoin 
any plausible proof." 

Demetrius, joining in, said, " What plausible proof 
could there be in matters of this sort in which even 
Plato, without stating anything reasonable or plaus- 
ible, simply set down his own account ? " 

" But," said Heracleon, " we hear you gram- 
marians attributing this view to Homer on the ground 
that he distributed the universe into five worlds c : 
the heavens, the water, the air, the earth, and 
Olympus. Of these he leaves two to be held in 
common, the earth for all below and Olympus for 
all above, and the three that lie between were assigned 
to the three gods. In this wise Plato d also, appar- 
ently, associated the fairest and foremost forms and 
figures with the different divisions of the universe, 
and called them five worlds, one of earth, one of 
water, one of air, one of fire, and last of all, the one 
which includes all these, the world of the dodeca- 
hedron, of wide expanse and many turnings, to 
which he assigned a form appropriate to the cycles 
and movements of the soul." 

e Cf. 390 c, supra-, Homer, //. xv. 187. 
d Cf. Plato, TimaeuSy 31 a, and 55 c ; Moralia, 390 a and 
887 b. 

419 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(423) Kat 6 ArjfirjTpios, " "O/xrypoiV' €<^ry, " rl Kwovfjcev 
ev rto Trapovrt; puvdojv yap d'At?. IlXdrajv 8e 

TToXXoV Set TOLS TT€VT€ TOV KOO/JLOV Siafiopds TT€VT€ 

KoojJLovs 7rpoaayop€v€iv iv otg re /xd^rat rot? 

6i7T€lpOVS KOOTfJLOVS V7TOTl9€jJL<£VOLS OLV , TTJoi 1 (f)7jCri 

8ok€?v eva tovtov €lvcli fjiovoyevrj ra> deep /cat 
B dya7TYjr6v, £k rod aa>/xaToetSo£>s' ttclvtos b'Xov 
kol reXetov /cat avjdpKiq yeyevqpiivov . odev dv ris 
/cat davpidaeLev ore rdXrjdes €L7T<jjv olvtos erepois 
aTTtOdvov /cat Xoyov ovk ixovoys dpx?}v 77apea^e 
8i$a)(fjs. 2 to [xev yap eva fxrj cfrvXa^at koojjlov 
€t^ev dfJLO)ay€Tra)s viroOeotv rr)v rod rravros a- 
TreipLaVy to 8' d<f>ojpio~pL€vu>s Trotrjaai tocfovtovs kol 

jJLT)T€ TrXeLOVS TWV TT€VT€ fMTjT iXaTTOVS KOfXihfj TTapd- 

Xoyov /cat irdoiqs iridavoTrjTOs aTrripT-qpiivov , el pur) 
rt ait Aeyets," Z<j>r}> rrpos cue fiXeifjas. 

Kayco, ooKec yap ovtojs, e<pr\v 3 a<p€VTa$ 77077 
C roy 7r€pl X9' ( ] <jrr ]?' L<JJV ^dyov ojs tcXos k'xovTa, f jL€Ta " 
Xapbfidveiv erepov toctovtov." 

Ovk dcfrevTas," etnev 6 &Y)p,rjTp(,os, " eKetvov, 
dAAa tiT7 TrapeXOovTas tovtov avTiXapifiavoixtvov 
77/xoDv. ox) yap ivhiaTplifiopLev, aAA' ocrov laToprjaai 
tyjv niBavoTTfra OtyovTes avTov fiCTLfiev errl tt)v i£ 
apx^js vTToOeoiv." 

24. " TlpcoTOV Toivvv y e<f>rjv eyoj, "tci kwXvovtcl 
ttouIv Koopiovs d7T€Lpovs ovk dVetpyct rrXziovas ivog 
TTOielv. /cat yap deov 3 eanv elvai /cat pbavTLKrjv /cat 

1 au, rfjbe F.C.B. ; aura) 017 Vulcobius ; avros 17817 Schwartz ; 
ravrr) hrj <f>r)aiv oi Paton : clvtt) S17. 

2 bcSaxrjs F.C.B. ; Bogrjs Leonicus ; StaTptprjs Michael; 81a- 
vofirjs Pohlenz : 81* avTfjs. 

3 0eoV Schwartz : ooov. 

420 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 423 

" Why," said Demetrius, " do we call up Homer in 
the present instance ? Enough of legends ! Plato, 
however, is very far from calling the five different 
divisions of the world five different worlds ; and in 
those passages again, in which he contends against 
those who postulate an infinite number of worlds, he 
says that his opinion is that this world is the only- 
begotten and beloved of God, having been created 
out of the corporeal whole, entire, complete, and 
sufficient unto itself. Wherefore one might well be 
surprised that he, in staring the truth himself, has 
supplied others with a source for a doctrine that is 
unconvincing and lacking in reason. For not to de- 
fend the idea of a single world implied somehow an 
assumption of the infinity of the whole universe ; 
but to make the worlds definitely just so many, 
neither more nor less than five, is altogether contrary 
to reason and devoid of all plausibility — unless," he 
added, with a glance at me, " you have anything 
to say." 

" It appears," said I, " that we have already dis- 
continued our discussion about oracles, feeling it to 
be completed, and are now taking up another topic 
just as large." 

" Not discontinued that topic," said Demetrius, 
P but not passing over this one which claims our 
attention. We will not spend much time on it, but 
only touch upon it long enough to inquire into its 
plausibility ; and then we will follow up the original 
proposition." 

24. " In the first place, then," said I, " the con- 
siderations that prevent our making an infinite 
number of worlds do not preclude our making more 
than one. For it is possible for God and prophecy 

421 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(423) rrpovoiav iv ttXziogi Koopiois kclI to fJLtKpordrr]v 
rvxqv 7Tap€fi7TL7TreLV, ra oe TrXeiara /cat pLeyiora 
rdijet} XafJLpdvew 2 yeveoiv /cat pL€Taf}oXrjv , &v ov8ev 
rj drreipia Se^ea^at 7T€(f)VK€v. eVecra ra> Xoyco 
D jjl&XXov errerat to tw deep purj fxovoyevrj firjS' eprjjxov 
etvai rov koojjlov. ay ados yap tbv reXeojs ovhepu&s 
dperrjs ivherjs ioriv, rjKtcrTa 8e rtov 3 rrepl St/cato- 
avvrjv /cat (frtXlav /caAAtcrrat yap avrat* /cat deols 
irpeTTOVoai. fJLar7]v §' ovSev k'xeiv ovb* dxprjorov Oeds 

7T€<f)VK€V. €lOLV OVV €KTOS €T€pOC 0€OL Kal KOGfXOL, 

rrpos ovs 6 XPV TCLL ra fe KoivwviKals dperals' ov yap 
rrpos avrov ovok fiepos avrov XPV°^ ^gtl St/cato- 
crvvrjs r) xdpiTOS r) xPV aTOT V T °S dXXd rrpos dXXovs- 
ojot ovk et/cos* a<piAov ovo ayeirova rovo ovo 

E dfAZLKTOV iv a7T€ipa) K€VCp TOV KOOfJLOV OaXzVZLV y €77€t 

/cat rrjv (f>voiv 6pa>jJL€v rd 6 /ca#' €Kaora yiveoi /cat 
ct'Secrtv olov ayytioisr) rrepiKaprriois orxipp.ara 1 rrepi- 
exovaav. ovokv yap iv dptOfitp tojv ovtojv ecrnv, 
ov ye per) 6 Xoyos vrrdpx^ koivos, ovoe rvyxdvet rfjs 
TOtacrSe tt poorly opias o pet) kolvcos rroiov tj 9 tSta>5 
ioTiv. 6 oe Koopios ov Xeyerac kolvlos elvai rroios* 
tStcu? 10 Tolvvv rroios icrriv €K 8ca<f)opas ttjs 77/00? d'AAa 

1 rafei] rd^iv in most MSS. 

2 \anfidv€iv Basel ed. of 1542: Aafipdvei. 

3 twi ] rco or to in all mss. but one (G). 

4 avrai Turnebus: avrw. 

5 ovs Turnebus : ols, 

6 rd added by some early editor. 

7 (nrepfMara Ileiske : 07rdpfMaros. 

8 ov ye f.irj Wyttenbach : ouSe /at) or firjv* 

9 rj added by Madvig. 

422 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 423 

and Providence to exist in more worlds than one, and 
for the incidence of chance to be reduced to the very 
smallest limits, while the vast majority of things and 
those of the highest importance attain to genesis 
and transmutation in a quite orderly sequence, 
none of which things does infinity, by its nature, 
admit. Then again it is more consistent with reason 
that the world should not be the only-begotten of 
God and quite alone. For He, being consummately 
good, is lacking in none of the virtues, and least of all 
in those which concern justice and friendliness ; for 
these are the fairest and are fitting for gods. Nor is 
it in the nature of God to possess anything to no 
purpose or for no use. Therefore there exist other 
gods and other worlds outside, in relation with 
which He exercises the social virtues. For not in 
relation with Himself nor with any part of Himself 
is there any exercise of justice or benevolence or 
kindness, but only in relation w r ith others. Thus it 
is not likely that this world, friendless, neighbourless, 
and unvisited, swings back and forth in the infinite 
void, since we see that Nature includes individual 
things in classes and species, like seeds in pods and 
envelopes. For there is nothing in the whole list of 
existing things for which there is not some general 
designation, nor does anything that does not possess 
certain qualities, either in common with others or 
solely by itself, obtain such an appellation. Now the 
world is not spoken of as having qualities in common 
with others. It has its qualities, therefore, solely by 
itself, by virtue of the difference when it is compared 
with other things which are akin to it and similar in 

10 Kotlas dvai ttolos- IhliDS corrections of Emperius, Wytten- 
bach, and Madvig : koivos e?vai noloi (or -os) 8* cuj. 

423 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

avyyevrj Kal opLoechrj 1 yeyovcos roiovros. el yap 
ovr* avdpooTTos els ov6* L7T7TOS ev rfj cfyvoet yiyovev 
ovr dorpov ovre deos ovre SalpLcov, ri KojXvet pbrjSe 
KoopLOV eva rrjv <f>voiv exeiv dAAd 2 rrXetovas; 6 yap 

F Xeywv on Kal yijv puiav ef^ec. Kal OdXarrav epciaves 
n rrapopa to tcov ojAoiojieptov ttjv re yap yrji' 
els 6pLO)vvpLa pLeprj Kal rr)v OdXarrav woavrojs St- 
aipovpuev rod Se Kocrpiov pcepos ovKen Koaptos 
dAA' €K hia<f)6pojv </>voecov ovveorrjKe. 
424 25. " Kcu pbr)v 6 ye pLoXiora (f>o fir) Sevres evcoi 
KaravaXicrKovuLv rrjv vXrjv els rov Koopcov eV 3 a- 
TTaaav, cos pirjSev VTroXenropievov* herds evoraceow 
r) irXrjyals Siarapdrrot rr)v rovhe ovoraaw, ovk 
6p6cos eoeioav. rrXeiovojv ydp dvrtov Koopmjv Ihia 
8' eKaorov ovveiXr)x oT °S ova la Kal vXrj pierpov thpi- 
op.evov eypvor\ Kal Trepas, ov$ev araKrov ouS' dVara- 
KoopLTjrov ofov Trepirroopia Xei^>8r]oerai TrpoorriTTrov 
e£a>dev. 6 ydp irepl eKaorov Xoyos 6 eyKparrjs cov 
rrjs ovvvevepLrjpLevrjs vXrjs ovoev eKcj)opov edoei Kal 
TrXava) ptevov epureoelv els dXXov ouS' els eavrov e£ 

B dXXov Sid to paqre ttXtjOos doptorov Kal drretpov 
rrjv (j>vocv exeiv pnqre kivtjolv dXoyov Kal araKrov. 
el Se Kal tls diroppor) <f)eperat npos erepovs aft 
erepajv, 6pi6(f)vXov elvai Kal rrpoorjvrj TTpoorjKei* /cat 
naoiv TJ7TLOJS eiripL€iyvvpLev7]v cooirep at tojv dorepoov 

1 aAAa ovyyzvi) Kal d/xociS?} Wyttenbach : dXXas (or dAA^Aa) 
ovyyzvr)s (or -ovs) Kal 6fio€ih^s (or /xovociS^S"). 

2 dAAa] dAA* rj in all mss. but one (A). 

8 eV added by F.C.B. (cts eva tov van Herwerden). 

4 U7roA€l7rd/Z€I01-' 'I'urnebllS : V7ToX€t7TOfJL€V7)V. 

5 Xoyos Meziriacus: Xoyov. 

6 7rpoo-TjKei added by F.C.B., assuming haplo/rraphy ; simi- 
larly ei/cos was added by Wyttenbach from oIk€lu>s, which 
stands in place of rj-nlcos in all mss. but one (D). 

424 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 423-424 

appearance, since it has been created with such 
qualities as it possesses. If in all creation such a 
thing as one man, one horse, one star, one god, one 
demigod does not exist, what is there to prevent 
creation from having, not one world, but more than 
one ? For he who says that creation has but one 
land and one sea overlooks a matter which is perfectly 
plain, the doctrine of similar parts a ; for we divide the 
earth into parts which bear similar names, and the 
sea likewise. A part of the world, however, is not 
a world, but something combined from the differing 
elements in Nature. 

25. " Again, as for the dread which some people 
especially have felt, and so use up the whole of 
matter on the one world, so that nothing may be left 
over outside to disturb the structure of it by resisting 
or striking it — this fear of theirs is unwarranted. For 
if there are more worlds than one, and each of them 
has received, as its meet portion, substance and 
matter having a restricted measure and limit, then 
there will be nothing left unplaced or unorganized, 
an unused remnant, as it were, to crash into them 
from the outside. For the law of reason over each 
world, having control over the matter assigned to 
each, will not allow anything to be carried away from 
it nor to wander about and crash into another world, 
nor anything from another world to crash into it, 
because Nature has neither unlimited and infinite 
magnitude nor irrational and disorganized movement. 
Even if any emanation is carried from some worlds to 
others, it is certain to be congenial, agreeable, and to 
unite peaceably with all, like the rays of starlight and 

The Homoeomeria of Anaxagoras; c/., for example, 
Lucretius, i. 8S0 if. 

425 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(424) avyal /cat ovyKpdoeis, aifTovs re Teprreodat k<l9- 
opoovTas dXXrjXovs evpevcos, deots re ttoXXois /cat 
dyadots Ka6* eKaoTov ovol Tiapiyeiv hntpei^ias /cat 
</>iXo<f)poovvas . dhvvarov yap ovoev eoTt tovtcov 
ovre pvdooSes ovre TrapdXoyov el prj vrj Ata rd 1 rod 
AptOTOTeXovs vrroxjjovTai rives oos <f>voiKas alrias 
k'xovra. toov ydp ooopaTcav e/cdoTou tottov oIkzZov 
C k'xovroSy oos (f>r)Giy, dvdyKrj rrjv yfjv rravTaxoOev em 

TO fJL€GOV cf)€p€G0aC KOLL TO VOOOp cV aVTTJS Old fidpOS 
Vc/)LOTdfJL€VOV TOIS KOV(f)OTepOlS • dV OVV TrXetOVeS OOGL 

Koopot, ovpfi-qoeTat tyjv yrp> jroXXaxov pev eirdvoo 
iov TTvpos /cat rod depos Kelodai noXXaxov 8' 
viroKaTCo* /cat rov aepa /cat to vbwp opotoos, Trfj pev 
ev Tats Kara <f>voiv rrfj 8' ev Tats irapd cfrvoiv 2 
Xcopats vrrdpxeiv. oov dovvaTOov ovtoov, ojs oieTai, 
psf\Te ovo ptrjTe rrXetovas ct^at Koopovs, aAA' eva 
tovtov e/c rrjs ovoias aTrdorjs ovyKetpevov, thpv- 
pevov Kara (f>voiv, cos 7TpoorjKei Tats twv ooopdrosv 
oiacfcopais . (26.) dXXd /cat rairra 7Tidava>s paXXov 
i] aArjuojs eiprjTar oKorrei o ovtoos, £<f>T] v > °° 
D <f>iXe ArjprjTpte. rcov yap ooopdroiv ra pev errt 
to peoov /cat /cdra> KiveZodai Xeycov rd 8' drro tov 
peoov /cat aVa> rd 8e Trepi to peoov /cat kvkXcq, 
7rpos tL Xapfidvet to peoov; ov 8777701; npos to 
Kevov ov yap eoTt /caT* avTov. /ca# 5 ovs 3 8* eoTiv, 
ovk e^et peoov, coorrep ovSe rrpooTov ouS' eox arov * 

1 ra omitted in most mss. 

2 7H7 8* €v . . . <f>vaiv in one ms. only (B). 

3 ovg Xylander : ov. 



Cf. Aristotle, De Caelo, i. 7 (276 a 18). 
b Cf. Moralia, 925 b and 1054 b. 



426 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 424 

their blending ; and the worlds themselves must 
experience joy in gazing at one another with kindly 
eyes ; and for the many good gods in each, they must 
provide opportunities for visits and a friendly wel- 
come. Truly in all this there is nothing impossible 
or fabulous or contrary to reason unless, indeed, 
because of Aristotle's a statements some persons shall 
look upon it with suspicion as being based on physical 
grounds. For if each of the bodies has its own 
particular place, as he asserts, the earth must of 
necessity turn toward the centre from all directions 
and the water be above it, settling below the lighter 
elements because of its weight. If, therefore, there 
be more worlds than one, it will come to pass that in 
many places the earth will rest above the fire and the 
air, and in many places below them ; and the air and 
the water likewise, in some places existing in posi- 
tions in keeping with nature and in other places in 
positions contrary to nature. As this, in his opinion, 
is impossible, the inference is that there are neither 
two worlds nor more, but only this one, composed of 
the whole of matter and resting firmly in keeping 
with Nature, as befits the diversity of its bodies. 
(26.) All this, however, has been put in a way that is 
more plausible than true. Look at it in this way, my 
dear Demetrius, " said I ; " when he says of the 
bodies that some have a motion towards the centre 
and downwards, others away from the centre and 
upwards, and others around the centre and in a 
circular path, in what relation does he take the 
centre ? b Certainly not in relation to the void, for 
according to him it does not exist. And according to 
those for whom it does exist, it has no centre, just 
as it has no point where it begins or where it ends ; 

427 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

iripara yap ravra, to 8* drretpov koI drrepaTajTov. 
el 8e Kal fiidcraLTo tls avrov Xoyov 1 fita Ktvovfjuevov 2 
arreipov* toA/x^ctgx 4 tls r) rrpos rovro yiyvo\xevr\ tcov 
Kivr)oeojv otacfyopd toZs acofiaat; ovre yap ev rep 
Kevqj bvvapus eWi tujv GU)pAra)v ovrz ra aoS/xara 
TrpoaLpeortv e^et Kal oppLrjv, fj 5 rod fxeoov yA^erou 
E Kal rrpos rovro ovvreivei TravTayoQev . dAA' opLocoJS 6 
drropov tOTiv a\\i\>yiov oojp,drojv rrpos doajpiarov 
yoypav 1 Kal aoia<f>opov r) <j>opav ££ avrtov r) oXktjv 
vnr €Keivi]s yiyvo\iivr)V vorjoat. Xeirrerai to'ivvv to 
fieoov ov tottikojs dAAd aojfJiaTLKOJS XeyeoOac. 
Tov8e ydp tov Koopbov piav £k rrXeiovajv oojjxaTOJV 
Kal avopioiujv ivoTrjra koI avvra^iv k'ypvTOS, ai oia- 
(f)Opal tols Kivrjoeis dAAas* rrpos dXXa rroiovoiv it; 
avdyKrjs. SfjXov Se Tip /xera/coa/xou peva Tats ov- 
oiais e/<aoTa Kal Tas ")(ojpas d/xa ovjxpLerafidXXziv' 
at /xet> yap oiaKpiozis drro tov fJL&rov ttjv vXt]v 
alpopLevrjv dva> kvkXoj hiavepovow at Se ovyKpivais 
F Kal ttvkvojo€is met,ovai Karoj rrpos to p,£oov Kat 
ovveXavvovai. 

27. " He pi cbv ovk avayKalov evravOa rrXetooi 
Xoyocs XPV G ^ aLt V p y^P ®- v TLS vrroOrJTai tcjv 
rraQojv tovtojv Kal tcov p,erafioXdjv alrtav elvat S?}- 
puovpyov, avTrj owe^ei tcov Koopioov* eKaorov ev 
iavTw. Kal yap yrjv Kal OdXaTrav eKaoTos ^X et 
425 Koap,os' ^X €l Y^-P KCLL ^ oov ^Kaaros ZStov, Kal rrddrj 

1 Xoyov Emperius : Xoycp. 

2 KLvovfxcvov] K€vov fxeoov Wyttenbach. 

3 antipov] a7T€ipov Kmperhis. 

4 ToXf.Lrjoai] rt ofJLoXoyrjoai Xy lander; tl voijvai Madvitf (but 
cf. Moraiia, 122 c). 

5 77 i -^ or rf in all mss. but one. 

6 o/mu'uk Madvig: o/xojs. 

428 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 424-425 

for these are limitations, and the infinite has no limita- 
tions. And if a man could force himself, by reason- 
ing, to dare the concept of a violent motion of the 
infinite, what difference, if referred to this, is created 
for the bodies in their movements ? For in the void 
there is no power in the bodies, nor do the bodies 
have a predisposition and an impetus, by virtue of 
which they cling to the centre and have a universal 
tendency in this one direction. It is equally difficult, 
in the case of inanimate bodies and an incorporeal and 
undifferentiated position, to conceive of a movement 
created from the bodies or an attraction created by 
the position. Thus one conclusion is left : when the 
centre is spoken of it is not with reference to any 
place, but with reference to the bodies. For in this 
world of ours, which has a single unity in its organiza- 
tion from numerous dissimilar elements, these differ- 
ences necessarily create various movements towards 
various objects. Evidence of this is found in the fact 
that everything, when it undergoes transformation, 
changes its position coincidently with the change 
in its substance. For example, dispersion distributes 
upwards and round about the matter rising from the 
centre and condensation and consolidation press it 
down towards the centre and drive it together. 

27. " On this topic it is not necessary to use more 
words at present. The truth is that whatever cause 
one may postulate as the author of these occurrences 
and changes, that cause will keep each of the worlds 
together within itself ; for each world has earth and 
sea, and each has its own centre and occurrences that 

7 xtvpav Mezirincus : xwpetV. 
8 tojv Koafiwv Reiske : rov k6o(aov. 

429 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(425) crcofjidrojv Kal jJLerafioAas Kal <f>voiv Kal ovvapuv, rj 1 
otp^ei Kal (f>vXdrrei /card y&pav eKaorov. rov pev 
yap cktos, etT ovSev eoriv etre Kevov direipov, oi>x 
vrrapxet 2 fxdcjov, ws eiprjrai' irXeiovoov he KOOpLOOV 
ovrcov, Kad* eKaorov eartv toiov p,eoov ooore kivtj- 
ats tSta rots puev em. rovro rots S' cltto rovrov rots 
Se irepl rovro , KaOdrrep avrol oiatpovcriv. 6 §' 
d£i<jL>v y noXXoov pueoajv ovrojv, e\£' ev piovov ojOetoOac 
rd ftdprj Travraypdev , ovSev hia^epet rov, rroXXcov 
ovroov dv6 pom aiVy a^tovvros els piiav <f>Xefia ro 
navraxodev af/xa avppelv Kal pad pLTjVLyyi robs 

B ndvrajv eyKe<f)dXovs rrepUx^crOai, Secvov rjyovp,evos , 
el rcov cfyvotKcov aajpidrojv ov fiiav dnavra rd oreppd 
Kal pilav rd fiavd X ( ^ ) P av *<f>*£ €l " KaL Y^-p ovros 
&to7tos eorai KaKelvos dyavaKroov el rd oXa rols 
avrcov ptepecn xP^) Tai > T ty Kara <f>voiv Oecnv exovoiv 
ev eKaoroo Kal rd^tv. eKelvo yap rjv aronov, Kel 3 rts 
eXeye Koopiov elvai rov ev avroo ttov 4, oeXrjvrjv e'xovra 
Kaddnep avdpcoirov ev rats irrepvats rov eyKe<f)aXov 
cf>opovvra Kal rrjv Kapoiav ev rots Kpord(/>oLs. rd Se 
nrXeiovas rrotovvras x^P 1 ^ dXXriXcov Koopiovs a/xa 
rots oXols rd p^eprj ovva<f)opi£,eiv Kal ovvSiatpelv ovk 

C aroTTOV rj yap ev eKacrrcp yrj Kal ddXarra Kal 
ovpavos Keioerai Kara <j>voiv cos TrpocrrjKeL, ro r 
avoj Kal Kara) Kal kvkXco Kal pieoov ov npos d'XXov 

1 rj added by Meziriacus. 

2 ovx VTrapx€i Paton : ov 7mp€\'€i. 

3 k€l F.C.B. : ei. 4 ttov added by F.C.B. 

a Cf. Moralia, 928 a-b. 
b Instead of revolving around it 

430 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 425 

affect its component bodies ; it has its own trans- 
mutations and a nature and a power which preserves 
each one and keeps it in place. In what lies beyond, 
whether it be nothing or an infinite void, no centre 
exists, as has been said ; and if there are several 
worlds, in each one is a centre which belongs to it 
alone, with the result that the movements of its 
bodies are its own, some towards it, some away from 
it, and some around it, quite in keeping with the 
distinctions which these men themselves make. But 
anyone who insists that, while there are many centres, 
the heavy substances are impelled from all sides 
towards one only, a does not differ at all from him 
who insists that, while there are many men, the blood 
from all shall flow together into a single vein and the 
brains of all shall be enveloped in a single membrane, 
deeming it a dreadful thing in the case of natural 
bodies if all the solids shall not occupy one place only 
and the fluids also only one place. Such a man as 
that will be abnormal, and so will he be who is indignant 
if everything constituting a whole has its own parts, 
of which it makes use in their natural arrangement 
and position in every case. For that would be pre- 
oosterous, and so too if anybody called that a world 
which had a moon somewhere inside it b ; as well call 
that a man who carries his brains in his heels or his 
heart in his head ! c But to make more worlds than 
one, each separate from the other, and to delimit 
and distinguish the parts belonging to each to go 
with the whole is not preposterous. For the land 
and the sea and the heavens in each will be placed 
to accord with nature, as is fitting ; and each of 
the worlds has its above and below and its round 

° Cf. Demosthenes, Oration vii. 45. 

431 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(425) oz)8' €/cros aAA' ev eavrtp Kal rrpos eavrov e^ei rcov 

KOG/JLCOV €Ka<JTOS. 

28. " *Ov pev yap e£a> rod Kocrfiov Xldov vtto- 
ridevrai rives ovre povrjs eviropajs Trapex^i vorjotv 
ovre KLvrjcretog. ttcos yap rj puevel fidpos eyojv r\ 
Kivrjoerai rrpos rov Koorpcov, coarrep ra, Xoirrd fiaprj, 
pryre puepos d)v avrov purjre avvreraypuevos els rrjv 
ovoiav; yrjv 1 S' ev erepcp Kooputo rrepiexop^evnv Kal 
ovv8e8epevr)v ovk ebet hiarropelv ottojs ovk evravda 

D ixeraycopel Sta fidpos anoppayelaa rod oXov, rrjv 
<f>voiv optovras Kal rov rovov vtf)* ov ovveyerai rtov 
puepcbv eKaarov. errel pur) rrpos rov Koapuov aAA' 
e/cros" avrov ro Kara) Kal dva> Xapufidvovres , ev rats 
avrals drroplais 'EmKoupoj yevrjoopeda Kivovvri rds 
dropbovs drrdoas els rovs vrro rrohas rorrovs, coorrep 
r) rov Kevov rroSas e'xovros r) rrjs drretplas ev avrrj 
Kara) re Kal dva> vorjaai 2 oiSovorjS- 8lo /cat X/dv- 
olttttov ecrri davpd^etv, pi&XXov S' oXws oiarropelv 
o ri 8r) iraOwv rov Koopov ev p^eato tftrjolv lopv- 
odai, Kal rrjv ovoiav avrov rov peoov rorrov dihiojs 
KareiXrjcfyviav, ovx rJKiora rovrco 3 ovvepyeloOa^ rrpos 

■£ rrjv 8iapiovr)v Kal olovel dcf)6apoiav . raurt yap ev 

rco rerdprcp rrepl Avvarcov Xeyei, pueoov re rov 

drreipov rorrov ovk opOcos 6vecpd)rra>v drorrojrepov 

re rrjs Siapiovrjs rov Koopov rep dvvrrdpKrcp pLeocp 

1 yrjv Xylander : Tr)v. 
2 voijuai Bernardakis ; biavoelffdai Kronenberg : hiavorjaai. 

3 tovto) Turnebus : tovtov or tovtcov. 
4 ovvzpyeioOai Wyttenbach ; ovvepytlv Paton : avvepyzoQat. 

Cf, Moralia, 1054 b. 

6 Frag. 299. 

c Cf. von Arnim, Stoicorum Veterum Fragmenta, i. 551 
(p. 174), and Moralia, 1054 c. 
432 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 425 

about and its centre, not with reference to another 
world or the outside, but in itself and with reference 
to itself. 

28. " As for the stone which some assume to exist 
in the regions outside the world, it does not readily 
afford a concept regarding either its fixity or its 
motion. For how is it either to remain fixed, if it 
has weight, or to move towards the world like other 
heavy substances when it is no part of the world and 
has no place in the order of its being ? Land 
embraced in another world and bound up with it 
ought not to raise any question as to how it comes 
about that it does not break away from the whole 
and transfer itself to our world, because we see the 
nature and the tension under which each of the parts 
is held secure. For if we take the expressions 
' below ' and ' above ' as referring, not to the world, 
but outside of it, a we shall become involved in the 
same difficulties as Epicurus, b who would have all his 
atoms move to places under our feet, as if either the 
void had feet, or infinity granted us to conceive of 
1 below ' and * above ' within itself ! Wherefore we 
may well wonder at Chrysippus, c or rather be quite 
unable to understand what possessed him to assert 
that the world has been firmly set in the centre and 
that its substance, having pre-empted the central 
place from time eternal, thereby gains the greatest 
help towards its permanence, and that is as much 
as to say its immunity from destruction. This is 
actually what he says in the fourth book of his work 
on Things Possible, where he indulges in a day-dream 
of a central place in the infinite and still more pre- 
posterously ascribes the cause of the permanence of 
the world to the non-existent centre ; yet in other 

433 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

tt)v alrlav V7Totl6€ls, kclI ravra 7^oAAa/cts , elprjKcbs 
iv erepois oti rals els to avrrjs peoov rj ovaia Kal 
rals a7ro rod avrrjg piioov Stot/carat /cat crvvix €rai 
Kivrjoeoi. 

29. " Kat pr)v rd y aAAa roov TtTOJiKoov tls av 
(froftrjOeir], TTvvOavopivoov iTtos elpappivrj /xta ptvet 
kcu npovoia, Kal ov rrroXAol Ates Kal ILijves eoov- 
rai, nXeiovcov ovroov kogjjlojv; irpcorov pev yap et 
to noXXovs et^at At'as /cat Zrjvas drorrov eon, 
F noXXtp 8rj7Tovd€v carat ra e/cetVajv aronooTCpa' /cat 
yap rjAiovs /cat oeXrjvas /cat 'AiroWajvas /cat Ap- 
ripcoas Kal Yioo€tha)vag iv aTreipois Koopoov 7T€pt- 
oSot? arreipovs ttoiovolv. eVetra tls aVay/07 ttoXXovs 
ztvai Atasr, ov TrXeioves cool Koopoi, /cat prj /ca#' 
€KaoTov apypvra 7Tpa>rov Kal rjyepova rov SXov 
426 deov *iypvTa Kal vovv Kal Xoyov, otos* 6 nap* r)ptv 
Kvpios arravroov Kal narrfp inovopia^opevos ; rj ti 
KOjXvoei rrjs tov Atos elpiappivrjs Kal rrpovoias 
V7T7)k6ovs TravTas etvai, /cat tovtov i<f>opav iv pipei 
Kal KaT€v6vv€iv, ivoiSovTa iraaiv apxds Kal oWo- 
para /cat Xoyovs t&v TTtpaivopevojv ; ov yap 
ivravOa piv eV ovvloraTac oat pa noXXaKcs c/c St- 
€otootojv oojpLGLTCov, otov c/c/cA^ata Kat OTparevpba 
/cat x°P°s> <*> v ^/caoTaj Kal tjjv Kal <f>pov€tv Kal 
pbavdavetv avpfSifSrjKev, obs otcrat yLpvoLrnros , iv Se 
tco Travrl oeKa Koopovs r) irevTiJKOVT 9 r] 1 Kal e/caroV 
ovras ivl xprjodai Xoycu Kal rrpos d>PXV u crvvrerd- 
1 rj Wyttenbach : kcl\. 

Cf. Moralia, 142 e ; Sextus Empiricus, Adversus 
Mathfmaticosy vii. 102. 

6 Cf. von Arnim, Stoicorum Veterum Fragmenta, ii. 367 
(p. 124). 
434 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 425-426 

works he has often said that substance is regulated 
and held together by its movements towards its own 
centre and away from its own centre. 

29. " Then again, who could feel alarm at the 
other notions of the Stoics, who ask how there shall 
continue to be one Destiny and one Providence, and 
how there shall not be many supreme gods bearing 
the name of Zeus or Zen, if there are more worlds 
than one ? For, in the first place, if it is preposterous 
that there should be many supreme gods bearing this 
name, then surely these persons' ideas will be far 
more preposterous ; for they make an infinite number 
of suns and moons and Apollos and Artemises and 
Poseidons in the infinite cycle of worlds. But the 
second point is this : what is the need that there 
be many gods bearing the name of Zeus, if there 
be more worlds than one, and that there should 
not be in each world, as pre-eminent governor and 
ruler of the whole, a god possessing sense and reason, 
such as the one who among us bears the name of Lord 
and Father of all ? Or again, what shall prevent all 
worlds from being subject to the Destiny and Provi- 
dence of Zeus, and what shall prevent his overseeing 
and directing them all in turn and supplying them a\\ 
with first principles, material sources, and schemes of 
all that is being carried out ? Do we not in this 
world of ours often have a single body composed 
of separate bodies, as, for example, an assembly of 
people or an army or a band of dancers, each one of 
whom has the contingent faculty of living, thinking, 
and learning, as Chrysippus b believes, while in the 
whole universe, that there should be ten worlds, or 
fifty, or an hundred even, living under one reasoned 
plan, and organized under one government, is an 

435 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

B x@ aL ^av dhvvarov icrrw; dXXd /cat ndvv rrpirrei 
(426) Ocols rj roiavTT] SidVa^tc- ov yap a>c vpLrjVovs rjye- 
fjiovas Set 7Toielv ave£;68ov$ ovoe <f>povpeiv cruy/cAet- 
oavras rfj vXr) jjl&XXov Se ovpL,<j)pd£avras , cooTTtp 
ovroi tovs Oeovs aepcov e£etc 7toiovvt€s 1 Kal vodroyv 
/cat irvpos owdp^eis iyKeKpapuevas TjyovpievoL avy- 
yevvojGi rw Koarpicp Kal rrdXtv crvyKaraKaiovacv, ovk 
diroXvrovs ouS' eXevOipovs olov rjvioxov? rj Kvfiep- 
vrjras oVrac dXX', tboirep dyaXfiara tt pooy]Xovr ai 
Kal ovvrrjKeraL fidcreoiv, ovrojs ey/ce/cAet/zeVouc etc 
to acopiaTCKov Kai ovyKaray€yop,(f>ajp,£vovs, koivo)- 
vovvras avra) /xe;(pt <f)9opds Kal StaAuaea>c airdot)s 
C /cat jLttrajSoA^S". 

30. " 'E/<eti>oc 8' ot/zat aepLVorepos 6 Aoyoc Kal 
p,€yaXoTTp€7T€(JT€pos y dSeanorovs Kal avroKpareZs 
tovs Oeovg ovras, toairep ol Tvvoaploai rote 
^ettza£o/xeVotc fiorjOovoiv 

iTTepxopLevov 2 re pLaXdoaovres /Jtaray 3 
ttovtov wKecas r avep,u)v pirxas y 

ovk eparXeovres avrol Kal ovyKivhvvevovres aXX 
dvo)9ev €7Ti(j>aiv6pb€V0i Kal crto^ovres, ovtojs eVteVat 4 
tcov /cocTjuajy 5 aAAoT* dXXov, rjSovfj re rrjs Bias dyo- 
pL€Vovs Kal rfj (f>vaei avvarrevOvvovras €Kaarov. 6 
p,ev yap ^fJirjpiKos Zeuc ov rrdvv rrpouco j.iere6rjKe 
D rrjv oi/jiv drro Tpot'ac eirl rd QpaKta Kal rovs irepi 

1 ttoiovvtcs] iroiovvras in all mss. but A, whence ttolcls 
Reiske. 

2 €7T€px6iJ,€vov from Moral t'a, 1103c: i7r€pxofJ.€voi. 

3 fiioiTav Bergk : /9ta rov (fiiatov 1 103 c). 

4 im&vai Turnebus: v-rrdvai (eVeivcu G corr.). 

5 tojv KOGfx<ov Reiske : rov Koafiov. 

436 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 426 

in i possibility ? Yet such an organization is altogether 
appropriate for the gods. For we must not make 
them unable to go out, like the queens in a hive of 
bees, nor keep them imprisoned by enclosing them 
with matter, or rather fencing them about with it, 
as those a do who make the gods to be atmospheric 
conditions, or regard them as powers of waters or of 
fire blended therewith, and bring them into being at 
the same time with the world, and burn them up with 
it, since they are not unconfined and free like drivers 
of horses or pilots of ships, but, just as statues are 
riveted and welded to their bases, so they are en- 
closed and fastened to the corporeal ; and are 
partners with it even unto destruction, dissolution, 
and transmutation, of whatsoever sort may befall. 

30. " That other concept is, I think, more dignified 
and sublime, that the gods are not subject to outside 
control, but are their own masters, even as the twin 
sons of Tyndareiis b come to the aid of men who are 
labouring in the storm, 

Soothing the oncoming raging sea, 

Taming the swift-driving blasts of the winds/ 

not, however, sailing on the ships and sharing in the 
danger, but appearing above and rescuing ; so, in the 
same way, one or another of the gods visits now this 
world and now that, led thither by pleasure in the 
sight, and co-operates with Nature in the directing 
of each. The Zeus of Homer d turned his gaze not 
so very far away from the land of Troy towards the 

* Ibid. 1055 (p. 311). 

6 Castor and Pollux, the protectors of sailors. 
e Repeated with some variants by Plutarch in Moralia, 
1 103 c-n : cf. Bergk, Poet. Lyr. Graec. iii. p. 730. 
d Homer, 11. xiii. 3. 

437 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(426) rov "lorpov vojxd8as, o 8' aXi]div6s e^et KaXds /cat 
irpeTrovaas £v 7rAe iocn koojaols puerapoXas , ovyl 1 
K€vov aireipov €ga> pA€7TCov ouo eaurov aAAo o 
ovSeV, cos 1 cbrjOrjaav evioi, vocov, dAA' eoya re fecDv 
Kal dv#paWan> TroAAd /ctv^cxets T€ /cat <f>opds darpojv 
ev 7T€pi68oi$ Kara9ed>p,evos. ov yap dnexOdver at 
fiera^oXals dAAa /cat Trdvu ^atpet to #£toi/, et Set 
T&v <f>cuvofi€v<x)v reKpLalpeodai tolls /car' ovpavov 
i£afjL€iip€(ji Kal 7T€pi68oLS . 7] f*^ ^ d/rreipla TTavrd- 
Traaiv dyvojpiojv /cat aAoyos 1 /cat firjSajJLfj rrpoo- 
iep,evr) Qeov y dAAa xpuypLevy) rrpos uavra ra> /card 
E Tvyy\v Kal avrofidra)$ 2 ' rj S* ev ajpiopLevcp 7rXrj9ei Kal 
apidfito k6(J(jl<jov eVtue'Aeta /cat rtpovoia rrjs els ev 
8e8vKvi,as oajfia /cat TrpoarjprrjfjLevrjs evl Kal rovro 
jLteraa^uart^oJa^s' *at dvaTrAaTTOt/aT]? drreipaKLs 
epuocye 8ok€l pcr)8ev €X^tv daepjvorepov p,r)r em- 
TTovdjrepov," 

31. 'Eyco /xeV ovv roaavr elrrcbv iitioypv. 6 

Se QiXiTTTTOS OV TToXvV XpOVOV 8iaXl7TU)V , " TO /X€I ; 

dArjOes," €<prj 9 u rrepl rovrajv ovtqjs *X €LV V ^TcpaiS" 
oz5/c dV eywye huoxvpioaip,r}v el 8e rov 9eov e/c- 
j#t/?d£o/xey eVo? koctjjlov, Std Tt rrevre povajv ttolov- 
fiev ov 7rXei6va>v 8r)fALovpyov, Kal rls eon rov 
F dpidfiov rovrov Trpos to ttAtjOos Xoyos, rj8tov dv 
fioi 80/cd) p,a9elv r) rrjs evrav9a rov el KaOiepajcreojs 
rr)v 8idvoiav. ovre yap rplyojvos rj rerpdyojvos 
ovre reXeios r) kv/3ikos out dXXrjv rwd (jyalverai 

1 ovxl] ovk em Wilamowitz-M Ollendorff. 
2 avTOfidrcos Bernard aids : avTo/Aara>. 

• Gf. Aristotle, The Eudemian Ethics, vii. 12. 1(5 (1245 b 
H). 
438 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 426 

Thracian regions and the wandering tribes about the 
Danube ; but the real Zeus has a fair and fitting 
variety of spectacles in numerous worlds, not viewing 
the infinite void outside nor concentrating his mind 
upon himself and nothing else, as some have 
imagined, but surveying from above the many works 
of gods and men and the movements and courses of 
the stars in their cycles. In fact, the Deity is not 
averse to changes, but has a very great joy therein, 
to judge, if need be, by the alternations and cycles in 
the heavens among the bodies that are visible there. 
Infinity is altogether senseless and unreasoning, and 
nowhere admits a god, but in all relations it brings 
into action the concept of chance and accident. But 
the Oversight and Providence in a limited group and 
number of worlds, when compared with that which 
has entered one body and become attached to one 
and reshapes and remodels it an infinite number of 
times, seems to me to contain nothing involving less 
dignity or greater labour.' ' 

31. Having spoken at this length, I stopped. 
Philip, after no long interval, said, " That the truth 
about these matters is thus or otherwise is not for 
me to assert. But if we eliminate the god from one 
world, there is the question why we make him the 
creator of only five worlds and no more, and what 
is the relation of this number to the great mass of 
numbers ; and I feel that I would rather gain a 
knowledge of this than of the meaning of the E b 
dedicated here. For the number five represents 
neither a triangle nor a square, nor is it a perfect 
number nor a cube, nor does it seem to present any 

b The meaning is discussed in the second essay of this 
volume. 

439 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

KOjJuffOTrjra rrapexoiv tols ayairaxji tol rotavra Kal 
davpbd^ovoiv. rj o y oltto twv otolx € ^ v e<f>ooosj rjv 
clvtos 1 VTTrjVL^aro, TTavrrj ovoXt]ttt6s ioTi /cat ptr^oev 
V7TO(f>aivovaa rrjg iKzivov* i7T€07raop€vrjs TTidavorr)- 

427 TOS €L7T€LV U)S €LKOS ioTl 7T€VT€ OCOfAOLTLOV LGOyCUVLCOV 

kcli laoirXevpcov Kal Trepi^xopiivajv toots i7Ti7T€oois 
iyyevopuivojv rrj vXrj, rooovrovs tvdvs i£ avrojv 

aTTOT€\€oQf)Vai KOOfJLOVS." 

32. " Kat /xtjv, ' €(f>7)i> iya), " So/cct Qeoocopos 6 
HoXevs ov (j>avXa)s fierievai rov Xoyov, i£rjyovpL€vos 
tol pLa6r}p,anKa rod YlXdrcovos. pberecoL 8' ovtojs. 
TTVpapus Kal oKrdeSpov Kal etKoodeopov Kal Sco- 
SeKaeSpov, a npcora rid^rai TlXdrajv, /caAa p,iv ion 
iravra ovpipL€Tpiats X6ya>v Kal loorrjoi, Kal KpeZrrov 
B ovoev avra>v ouS' op,oiov dXXo ovvdzlvai rfj (frvoec 
Kal ovvappbooai XiXearTai. puds y€ pbrjv navra 
ovordoeojs ovk e'iXrjxev ot)S' optoiav e;\;6i rrjv ye- 
veotv, dXXd XeTTTorarov p,ev ion Kal puKporarov rj 
7TvpapLLS, piiyiOTOV Se Kal TroXvpLepeorarov to 8a>- 
oeKaeopov tojv Se Xenropiivajv ovolv rov OKraiopov 
pLeZ£,ov fj oLirXdoiov 7rXrjd€L rptyuivoxv to elKood- 
eSpov. Sid T7]v yeveow a/xa irdvTa Xapifidveiv e/c peas 
vXrjs dhvvarov ion. tcl yap XenTa Kal puKpa Kal 
rats KaraoKtvaTs dirXovoTtpa irpojTa ra) klvovi>ti 
Kal oiarrXaTTOVTi ttjv vXtjv VTraKovew dvdyKt) Kal 
ovvreXeloOai Kal irpov<f)LoTao9ai tcov aopop,epii)v 
Kal TroXvoa)pLaTa)v i£ &v Kal ttjv ovoTaow ipyco- 
1 auro?] avros 6 UXdrcov Sieveking. 
2 €k€lvov Turnebus : eVetVwv. 

a Presumably Pythagoras, but possibly Plato. 

b Cf. Maralia, 1027 d. 

e The five solids of which each has the same number of 
sides on all its faces, and all its solid angles made up of the 
440 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 426-427 

other subtlety for those who love and admire such 
speculations. Its derivation from the number of 
elements, at which the Master hinted darkly, is in 
every way hard to grasp and gives no clear intimation 
of the plausibility which must have drawn him on to 
assert that it is likely that when five bodies with 
equal angles and equal sides and enclosed by equal 
areas are engendered in matter the same number of 
worlds should at once be perfected from them." 

32. " Yes," said I, " Theodorus of Soli b seems to 
follow up the subject not ineptly in his explanations 
of Plato's mathematical theories. He follows it up 
in this way : a pyramid, an octahedron, an icosa- 
hedron, and a dodecahedron, the primary figures 
which Plato predicates, are all beautiful because of 
the symmetries and equalities in their relations, and 
nothing superior or even like to these c has been left 
for Nature to compose and fit together. It happens, 
however, that they do not all have one form of 
construction, nor have they all a similar origin, but 
the pyramid is the simplest and smallest, while the 
dodecahedron is the largest and most complicated. 
Of the remaining two the icosahedron is more than 
double the octahedron in the number of its triangles. 
For this reason it is impossible for them all to derive 
their origin from one and the same matter. For those 
that are simple and small and more rudimentary 
in their structure would necessarily be the first to 
respond to the instigating and formative power, and 
to be completed and acquire substantiality earlier 
than those of large parts and many bodies, from 
which class comes the dodecahedron, which requires 

same number of plane angles. Cf. Plato, Timaeus, 53 c- 
5G c, and G rote's Plato, iii. 269. 

441 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

C SeoTepav exov, 1 to So/Se/caeSpoy. eVeTat Se tovtoj 
(427) TO povov elvai Utopia nptoTov rrjv 7TvpafjLtSa } tlov 8' 
dXXwv fjLrjbev, dTToXeiTTopLevojv rfj (f>voei rfjs yeve- 
aews. eoriv 2 ovv ta/za /cat ravrr]? rrjs aromas' r) 
rfjs vXrjs el$ 7T€vt€ Koorfiovs Statpeat? /cat Staoracrt?. 
ottov [lev yap TTvpa/Jils V7roarrj(J€rac 3 TrptoTOV ottov 
oKraeopov, ottov o etKooaeopov. €/c be rov 
TTpovTTooravTOS ev e/caora> 4 ra XoiTra rrjv yeveoiv 
e£ei Kara. ovyKpioiv* fieptov els 7rdVra yiyvo- 
fjievrjs ttoloi fieTafioXfjs , cos avTOS o HXaTajv vtto- 
SetKvvoi Sta navTLov oyzhov eTre^itov tjjmv 8e 
D f5pa)(€GJs dpKeoei (JLadetv. emt ydp dr)p* p>ev orfiev- 
vvjJidvov rrvpos v<f)iGTa,TCU, /cat XeTTrvpojxevos avdis 
e£ avrov TTvp dvaStScoocv, ev rols e/carepots' 7 OTrep- 
fiacri rd 7rd8r) Set deaoOat /cat rds fieTafioXas. 
OTrepjJLara Se Trvpos fxev rj TTvpajxis, i£ eiKooi /cat 
rerrdpcov TTptortov Tpiyujvtov to 8' oKTaehpov depos 

€K TCTTCLpaKOVTOL KOLl OKTLO TLOV LXVTLQV ylyV£TLXl. 

ylyvcTtxi Toivvv depos p>ev ev otolx^ov £k Svolv 

TTVpOS OLOfJidTtOV 6 GVyKpaOeVTLOV /Cat OVOTaVTLOV , TO 

8' depos av KeppuaTL^ofievov els 8vo Trvpos 8ta- 
/cptVerat owfiOLTa, ovv6Xif56p,evov 8' avdis aura) /cat 

OVfJLTTLTTTOV €LS vSoLTOS lo€CLV aTTeiGLV . OJOT€ TTUV' 

E ra^ou to tt pov$ioTa\xevov del ttlxoi tois dXXois 
eviTopcos TTtxpexeiv tt)v yeveoiv e/c ttjs fieTafioXrjs , 

1 €\ov F.C.B. : ixovTcw. 2 eoriv Leonicus : inel. 

3 VTroarijGCTat Madvig: vniaTrjac yap. 

4 cKaara) an early correction : €KaoTr}. 

5 ovyKpLGtv] Turnebus would add kcli oiaKpioiv after ovyKpioiv. 
8 yap drjp Bernardakis : yap rjv or drjp /zei>. 

7 €Kar€poi,s] €Kar4pov Bernardakis. 

8 aoip.dro)v to fill a lacuna (cf. aw/xara just below) Wila- 
mowitz-Mollendorff. 

442 



. 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 427 

more labour for its construction. Hence it follows 
that the only primal body is the pyramid, and not one 
of the others, since by their nature they are out- 
distanced by it in coming into being. Accordingly, 
the remedy which exists for this strange state of 
affairs consists in the division and separation of matter 
into five worlds, one where the pyramid shall acquire 
substantiality first, another for the octahedron, and 
another for the icosahedron ; then from the one that 
first acquires substantiality in each world the rest 
will have their origin, since a transmutation for every- 
thing into everything takes place according to the 
adaptability of parts to fit together, as Plato ° himself 
has indicated, going into the details of nearly all cases. 
But for us it will suffice to acquire the knowledge 
in brief form. Since air is formed when fire is extin- 
guished, and when rarefied again gives off fire out of 
itself, we must observe the behaviour of each of the 
generative elements and their transmutations. The 
generative elements of fire are the pyramid, 6 com- 
posed of twenty-four primary triangles, and likewise 
for air the octahedron, composed of forty-eight of the 
same. Therefore one element of air is produced 
from two corpuscles of fire combined and united ; and 
that of air again, when divided, is separated into two 
corpuscles of fire, and again, when compressed and 
condensed, it goes off into the form of water. The 
result is that in every case the one which first acquires 
substantiality always affords the others a ready means 
of coming into being through transmutation ; and it 

a Plato, Timaeus, 55 k ff. 

b Does Plutarch (or Plato before him) see an etymological 
relation between " pyramid" and "pyr" (fire)? See also 
428 d infra. 

443 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

KCU fJLT) poVOV €V elvat TTpUJTOV , €T€pOV 8' iv €T€ptp 

avGrrj/xari kivttjgiv apyr\ybv /cat 7rpoXrjTrTLKrjv es 
yeveaiv k^ovros irdoi TTjpeloBai rrjp opojvvpiav** 
S3. Kat 6 'AfJLJJLtUVLOS, " avSpLKtos pev," £ < f >7 ]> 
ravra rep QeoScopco /cat ^iXoripcos Starr eir ovTjrai' 
Qavpdaaipi S' dV, el p,rj 86£eie xprjadat Xrjppacrw 
avaiptTLKois aXXrjXaiv. d£tot yap dpa nave rots 

7T€VT€ fjLTf yiyveadcu T7JV GVOTaOlV, aXXa TO Xe7TTO- 

rarop del /cat 8t' iAdrrovos npayparelas ovv- 
lOTapevov 7rpoeK7TL7TTeiv els yeveaiv, eW* ejenrep 
olk6Aov9ov ov paxopevov tovtoj tl6t]ol to prj 
F naorav vXrjv TTpGiTov eK<f>epeiv x to XerrTOTaTov* /cat 
airXovcFTaTov , dAA* eviaxfj tol epfiptdrj /cat 77oAu- 
peprj cf)0dvetv irpoavloxpvTa rats yeveaeaiv e/c ttjs 
vXtjs. dvev Se tovtou, irevTe aa)paTa)v irpajTOiv vtto- 
Keipevoyv /cat Sta tovto Koapcov Xeyopcva>v elvai 
tooovtojv, TTpos pova ra TeVrapa ttj 7n9avoTr)Ti 
XpfJTat, tov he Kvfiov coanep ev 77aiSia i/jrj(f)a>v 
v(f>rjp7]Tat, pr\T avTov els eKetva peTafidXXetv ire- 
cfyvKOTa pvyr eKeivois 7rap£x €iv peTaftoXrjv els 
428 eavTov, are 8rj tcov Tptywvwv o&x opoyevcov ovtojv. 
eKeivois pev ydp vrroKeiTai koivov ev ttcloi to 
rjpiTpiywvov, ev tovtco 8* t'8toi> povco to loooKeXes, 
ov ttoiovv rrpos etcelvo ovvvevaiv ovt€ avyKpaoiv 
evcoTiKrjv. elrrep ovv irevTe ocopaTOjv ovtojv /cat 
irevTe Koapwv ev* ev e/cacrra) ttjv rjyepovlav exec 
ttjs yeveaeats, ottov yeyovev 6 Kvflos npajTos, 

1 €K(f>€p€lV F.C.B. : €tO<f>€p€W. 

2 Xctttotcitov] dnXoraTOv in most MSS. 
3 ev added by Wyttenbach. 

444 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 427-428 

is not one alone that first exists, but another in a 
different environment is endowed with movement, 
which takes the lead and forestalls the others in 
coming into being, and thus the name of being first 
is kept by all." 

33. " Manfully and zealously," said Ammonius, 
" have these matters been worked out by Theodorus ; 
but I should be surprised if it should not appear that 
he has made use of assumptions which nullify each 
other. For he insists that all the five shall not undergo 
construction at the same time, but the simplest always, 
which requires the least trouble to construct, shall 
first issue forth into being. Then, as a corollary to 
this, and not conflicting with it, he lays down the 
principle that not all matter brings forth the simplest 
and most rudimentary form first, but that sometimes 
the ponderous and complex forms, in the time of their 
coming into being, are earlier in arising out of matter. 
But apart from this, five bodies having been postulated 
as primary, and on the strength of this the number of 
worlds being put as the same, he adduces probability 
with reference to four only ; the cube he has taken off 
the board, as if he were playing a game with counters, 
since, because of its nature, it cannot transmute itself 
into them nor confer upon them the power of trans- 
mutation into itself, inasmuch as the triangles are not 
homologous triangles. For in the others the common 
triangle which underlies them all is the half-triangle ; 
but in this, and peculiar to it alone, is the isosceles 
triangle, which makes no convergence towards the 
other nor any conjunction that would unify the two. 
If, therefore, there are five bodies and five worlds, and 
in each one body only has precedence in coming into 
being, then where the cube has been the first to come 

445 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(428) oi>8ev eorai toov dXXa)v els ov8ev yap eKelvajv 
fierafidXAeLv ire<f)VK€v. ed> yap otl Kal to tov 
tcaXovp,evov 8a>8eKae8pov OToixeZov dXXo 7tolovolv, 
ovk eKeZvo to OKaXrjvov, i£ ov ttjv 7rupautSa /cat 
to oKTaeSpov Kal to elKoode8pov 6 HXaTOJV crvv- 
B lgttjolv. a)OT€," a/xa yeXoov 6 ' KpLjxcovios etrrev, 
" rj TavTa ool 8iaXvTeov fj X8iov tl XeKTeov ire pi 
ttjs koivtjs aTTopias." 

34. Kdya>, " 7TL0avu)T€pov ov8ev e\oJ Xeyetv ev 
ye tco TrapovTi' fSeXriov 8' toa>s iorlv I8las evdvvas 
viriyjE.iv 86£rjs r) aXkoTpias. Xeyco toIvvv avdcs e£ 

OLpXfjS OTL 8volv VTTOK€ipeVU)V <f)VOeQOV , TTjS pkv 

aloOrjTrjs ev yeveoei /cat <f)6opa pueTafioXov /cat 
<f>oprjT7J9 clXXot* dXXoos, €T€pa$ S' ev ova la vorjTrjs 
ael /cara raura oboavToos exovorjs, 8eivov eoTiv, 
cS eTaZpe, ttjv jxev vorjTrjv Stojpta#at /cat 8ia<f)opdv 
eyeiv * v £&VTrj, ttjv 8e oojfJbaTLKrjv /cat 7Ta6rjTLKrjv 
q el p,rj jxlav tcs aTroXelrrei 1 ovjJLTre<f>vKvZav avTjj /cat 
ovvvevovoav 2 dXXd ^ajpt^et /cat Suottjolv, dyava- 
KTelv /cat 8voxepalvetv. ra yap /zoVt/xa /cat 0€ta 
8t]ttov pidXXov avToov eyeodaL TTpoorjKei /cat (f>evyeiv 
cos dvvoTov eoTL Topi-qv airaoav /cat Staaraatx^. 
aAAa /cat tovtojv tj tov eTepov 8vvapas aTTTopevrf 
jxel^ovas evelpyaoTai tcov /cara tottov StauTaoewv 
toZs vor}Tols Tas /cara Xoyov /cat loeav dvopLOioTTj- 
ray. o9ev eviOTapLevos toZs ev to irav diro(f>aivovoLV 
o nAdVa>i> to t ov elval <j>r\Gi /cat to toutov /cat 

1 ci7roAct7r€i] a7roAei7rot in all mss. except E. 
2 ovwevovaav] ov\xirviovao.v in three MSS. 



° Plato, Sophist, 256 c ; cf. also Moralia, 391 b, supra, 
446 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 428 

into being, there will be none of the others, since, 
because of its nature, it cannot transmute itself into 
any one of them. I leave out of account the fact that 
they make the element of the dodecahedron, as it is 
called, something else and not that scalene from 
which Plato constructs the pyramid and the octa- 
hedron and the icosahedron. So," added Ammonius, 
laughing, " either you must solve these problems 
or else contribute something of your own con- 
cerning this difficulty in which we all find ourselves 
involved." 

34. " For the present, at least," said I, " I have 
nothingmore plausible to offer ; but perhaps it is better 
to submit to examination on views of one's own rather 
than on another's. I repeat, therefore, what I said 
at the beginning, that if two natures be postulated, 
one evident to the senses, subject to change in crea- 
tion and dissolution, carried now here now there, 
while the other is essentially conceptual and always 
remains the same, it is a dreadful thing that, while 
the conceptual nature has been parcelled out and 
has variety within itself, we should feel indignant 
and annoyed if anyone does not leave the corporeal 
and passive nature as a unity knit together and con- 
verging upon itself, but separates and parts it. For 
it is surely fitting that things permanent and divine 
should hold more closely together and escape, so far 
as may be, all segmentation and separation. But 
even on these the power of Differentiation has laid 
its hand and has wrought in things conceptual dis- 
similarities in reasons and ideas, which are vaster 
than the separations in location. Wherefore Plato, a 
opposing those who declare for the unity of the whole, 
says that these five things exist : Being, Identity, 

447 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(428) to erepov, eirl iraoi oe klvi^olv Kal oraoiv. ovrajv 

D OVV 7T€VT€ TOVTOJV , OV daVfMKJTOV YJl> , €L TU)V 7T€VT€ 

(JCOjjbartKCJV crrocxecojv €Ketva>v eKaorov eKaorov 
IMfirjfjLa rfj <f>voet Kal ct8a>AoV eon yeyevr\pevov 
ovk ap,eiKrov ouS' elXiKpives, dXXd ra> pdXtora 
puerexetv eKaorov eKaorrjs 8vvdpLecos. 6 fiev ye 
Kvfios €fjL(f)ava)s ordoea>s oIkciov eon otop,a l Sta 
rrjv rcov eirirrehajv ^ dotpdXeiav Kal /JejSatdV^Ta* rrjs 
oe TTvpajiioos rras dv ns to rrvpoethes Kal kivtjtikov 
ev rfj XeTrrorrjn rcov nXevpcov Kal rfj rcov ycovicov 
o^vrrjn Karavor]oeiev r) he rod hcohe-<aehpov 
tJ>vois, 7re pcXrjTTnKrj rcov aXXcov ox^p^drcov ovoa 
rov ovros etKcjv 7rpo? irav av 2 to oa)p,anKov ye- 
yovevai oo^ete' rcov he Aot7ra>i> hvoZv ro pcev etKood- 
ehpov rrjs rov erepov to 8' oKrdehpov pudXiora 
J) rrjs ravrov pbereiXrjxev loeas. 8to rovro piev depa 
vXertKov ovoias rrdorfs ev pad pLopcfrij, Odrepov 
8' vScop errl rrXeiora rep KepdvvvoOai yevrj rroio- 
rryrcov rperropLevov* rrapeZxev. elrrep ovv r) cbvois 
anaireZ rrjv loovopiiav ev ttclol, /cat Koopiovs etKos 
eon parjre rrXeiovs yeyovevai pafjr eXdrrovs rcov 
rrapaheiypidrcov, orrcos eKaorov ev A eKaorco rd^iv 
rjyepovLKrjv exj) /cat hvvapav, coonep ev raZs ov- 
oraoeot rcov ocopudrcov eox^JKev. 

35. " Ov p,rjv dXXd rovro p,ev eorco TTapapLvdia 
rov davpd^ovros, el rrjv ev yeveoei Kal peraftoXfj 
cpvotv els yevrj rooavra hiatpovp,ev . eKeZvo 8' rjSi] 

1 o&fia] arjfxa Xylander ; cf. eiKcjv, infra. 

2 av added here by Bernardakis; in one ms. it stands 
after 8o|ctc, but is omitted in the others. 

3 Tp€7r6fji€vov Turnebus : Tpcnofxeva. 

4 eV omitted in most mss. 

448 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 428 

Differentiation, and, to crown all, Movement and 
Rest. Granted, then, that these five exist, it is not 
surprising if each of these five corporeal elements has 
been made into a copy and image of each of them 
respectively, not unmixed and unalloyed, but it is 
because of the fact that each of them participates 
most in its corresponding faculty. The cube is 
patently a body related to rest because of the security 
and stability of its plane surfaces. In the pyramid 
everybody may note its fiery and restless quality in 
the simplicity of its sides and the acuteness of its 
angles. The nature of the dodecahedron, which is 
comprehensive enough to include the other figures, 
may well seem to be a model with reference to all 
corporeal being. Of the remaining two, the icosa- 
hedron shares in the nature of Differentiation mostly, 
and the octahedron in that of Identity. For this 
reason the octahedron contributed air, which in a 
single form holds all being in its embrace, and the 
icosahedron water, which by admixture assumes the 
greatest variety of qualities. If, therefore, Nature 
demands an equal distribution in all things, there is 
a reasonable probability that the worlds which have 
been created are neither more nor less in number 
than the patterns, so that each pattern in each world 
may have the leading rank and power just as it has 
acquired it in the construction of the primary bodies. 

35. " However, let this be a comfort for him that 
wonders because we divide Nature into so many 
classes in its generation and transmutation. But 
here is another matter a which I ask you all to con- 

° Cf. 387 f if., supra. 

449 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

F <7K07T€LT€ KOlvfj 7TpO(J€)(OVT€S OTl TtOV dvOJTaTOJV 1 

apx&v, Xeyoj 8e tov ivo$ Kal rrjs dopioTov 8vd8os t 
r) }jl€v dpop<f)ias rrdonqs (JTOty^eiov ovoa Kal aVa^ta? 
a7r€ipta KeKXrjTac rj Se tov eVo? (j>vcris opitovoa 
Kal KaraXapbfSavovaa ttjs drreLpLas to kzvov 2 kcll 
dXoyov koI dopiarov k'ppop^ov irapiyjiTai, Kal ttjv 
eTropivrfv 7T€pl to; aloOrjTa Set'^et 3 Karayopevacv 
429 ajucoayenajg vttojjl€1'ov i<al Se^o/xci'oy. avrai Se 
7Tp(x)TOv ai apxpl rrzpl tov dpiOpov ern<j>aivovrai , 

fJL&WoV 8* oAaJS dpidpLOS OVK €OTl TO TtXtjOoS > OV 

firj KaOdnep €i8o$ vXrjg to ev yevopevov* £k ttjs 
airtipias tov dopioTov rrfj p,ev irXelov Try) 8 eAarrov 
a7roT€pLvr)Tai. tot€ yap dpiOpbos yiyveTai tojv 
irArjOajv eKaoTov vtto tov ivos optt^opevov edv §' 
dvaipedij to ev, rrdXtv rj dopioTOs hvas auy^eacra 
tt&v dppvBpov 5 Kal drretpov Kal aptTpov erroLrjoev. 
errel 8e to efSos* ovk dvalpzois eWt ttjs vXrjs dXXd 
popcf)rj Kal rd£ts V7roK€Li/,€i'rjs, dvayKt] Kal tco 
B dpidpLQj Tag dp\ds Iwndpyeiv dpfioTepas, oOev rj 
TTpojTrj Kal peytOTTj Siacfropd Kal dvopLoiOTrjs ye- 
yovev. cut i yap r) pev dopioTos dpx^] tov dpTtov 
8rjjniovpyo9 rj 8e ^XtIojv tov TreptTToG 6 ' irpcoTOS 

8e TO)V dpTLCOV TOL 8l>0 Kal TO, Tpia TOJV 77€0tTTOJl>, 
i£ C&V T(X TT€VT€ Tjj pkv OVv6eO€l KOIVOS tOV dp<f)OLV 

dptOpids T7J 8e 8vvdp€i yeyovdtg TreptTTOs. iSet 
ydp, els rrXziova pLeprj tov aloOrjTov /cat ocopia- 

1 dvwrdrojv] dvajrdra) in all mss. but one (J). 

2 k€vov Turnebus : orevov. 

8 TT€pl . . . 8e<£a] rij iTcpl . . . Sofg Wilamowitz-Mollendorflf. 

4 cv y€i>6[A€vov Emperius : eyycvofxcvov. 

5 dppvOfiov] dpiOjxov in several mss., whence Paton dvdpiOpLov. 

6 rod irepiTToii Turnebus : cboirtp i) tovtov, or <x>s i} rov TTCpirrov 
in one ms. 

450 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 428-429 

sider, and to give your undivided attention to it : of 
those numbers which come at the very first (I mean 
the number one and the indeterminate duality), the 
second, being the element underlying all formlessness 
and disarrangement, has been called infinity ; but 
the nature of the number one limits and arrests what 
is void and irrational and indeterminate in infinity, 
gives it shape, and renders it in some way tolerant 
and receptive of definition, which is the next step 
after demonstration regarding things perceptible. 
Now these first principles make their appearance at 
the beginning in connexion with number ; rather, 
however, larger amounts are not number at all unless 
the number one, created from the illimitability of 
infinity, like a form of matter, cuts off more on 
one side and less on the other. Then, in fact, any of 
the larger amounts becomes number through being 
delimited by the number one. But if the number 
one be done away with, once more the indeterminate 
duality throws all into confusion, and makes it to be 
without rhythm, bounds, or measure. Inasmuch as 
form is not the doing away with matter, but a shaping 
and ordering of the underlying matter, it needs must 
be that both these first principles be existent in 
number, and from this has arisen the first and greatest 
divergence and dissimilarity. For the indeterminate 
first principle is the creator of the even, and the better 
one of the odd. Two is the first of the even numbers 
and three the first of the odd ; from the two com- 
bined comes five, a which in its composition is common 
to both numbers and in its potentiality is odd. For 
when the perceptible and corporeal was divided into 

° Cf. 388 a, supra. 

451 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(429) tikov (xepi^ofievov 8td rrjv ov^vtov dvdyKrjv 1 rrjs 

€T€pOT7JTOS, firjT€ TOP TTpiOTOP dpTlOP yeV€o9cU fJLTJT€ 
TOP TTpWTOP TTCpiTTOP, dXXd TOP TpiTOP €K TOVTOJP 

anoreXovfievov, ottojs am* afufrorepajv to>p dpx&P 
yevrjTai, /cat rrjs to apTiop Srjfxiovpyovarjs /cat ttjs 
C to TrepiTTov ov yap rjp olov t€ tt)s €T€pas dnaXXa- 
yrjvai tt)p €T€pav eKarrlpa yap dpxfjs <f>voiP e^et 
/cat 8vpap,ip. dfufroTepojp ovp ovpSva^ofxePCDP , rj 
^Xtiojp KpaTrjcraoa ttjs dopiOTias 8iaipovorjs to 
oajfJLaTLKov iveoTTj, /cat ttjs vXrjs £p dficfroTepois 
8uaTajjL€vr}s piearjp ttjp uwaSa defxevrj 8t^a vefirj- 
Orjvat to tt&p ovk eiaoev, dXXd TrXrjOos jikv yeyove 

KOOfXOJP VTTO TTJS €T€pOTrjTOS TOV dopiOTOV /Cat 

8ia<f)opas, TTepiTTOV 8k ttXtjOos r) TavTOV /cat <bpi~ 
apiepov Swa/xt? drreipyaoTai, rrepiTTOV 8e toiovtop 
o ti TTOppajTepoj ttjp (f>voiv r) fieXTiov k'xei rrpo- 
eXdeiv ovk eiaaev. el jxev yap autyes* /cat Kadapov 
rjp to ev, ovo av oKojs evyev v) vArj otacrracrtv eirei 
Se Tip SiaipcTiKcp ttjs 8vd8os fiefieiKTai, Top,r)v p,ev 
eSe^aro /cat 8iaipeaip, ipTavda S' eoTrj ra) TrepiTTco 
tov apTiov KpaTT}d€VTOS. 

36. " Ato /cat 7T€jj,7Tdoaodai to dpi6p,7}oai tois 
TraXaiois k'dos r\v KaXeip. ofytat Se /cat ret 7rdVra tow 
7T€VT€ Trapojvvfjia. yeyopepai /cara X6yov y are 8t) ttjs 

7T€VTa8oS 6/C TU)P TTpOJTOJV dpldp,U)P GVV€OTa>(Jr]S. 

/cat yap oi puev dXXoi TroXXaTrXaoia^opLcvoi npos 
aXXovs els €T€pov avTihv dpidfjbov €K^aivovoiv % rj 

1 ovfi<t>vrov dvdyKrjv Wyttenbaeh : av^vaiv avayicq. 
2 ovb* av Bernardakis: ovhev. 



° Cf. 374 a and 387 e, supra. 
452 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 429 

several parts because of the innate necessity of 
differentiation, that number had to be neither the 
first even nor the first odd, but the third number, 
which is formed from these two, so that it might 
be produced from both the primary principles, that 
which created the even and that which created the 
odd, because it was not possible for the one to 
be divorced from the other ; for each possesses the 
nature and the potentiality of a first principle. So 
when the two were paired, the better one prevailed 
over the indeterminate as it was dividing the corporeal 
and checked it ; and when matter was being dis- 
tributed to the two, it set unity in the middle and 
did not allow the whole to be divided into two parts, 
but there has been created a number of worlds by 
differentiation of the indeterminate and by its being 
carried in varying directions ; yet the power of 
Identity and Limitation has had the effect of making 
that number odd, but the kind of odd that did not 
permit Nature to progress beyond what is best. If 
the number one were unalloyed and pure, matter 
would not have any separation at all ; but since it has 
been combined with the dividing power of duality, it 
has had to submit to being cut up and divided, but 
there it stopped, the even being overpowered by the 
odd. 

36. " It was for this reason that among the people 
of olden time it was the custom to call counting 
'numbering by fives.' a I think also that ' panta ' 
(all) is derived from ' pente ' (five) in accord with 
reason, inasmuch as the pentad is a composite of the 
first numbers. a As a matter of fact, when the others 
are multiplied by other numbers, the result is a 
number different from themselves ; but the pentad, 

453 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

Se irevras, av fiev dpTcaKts Aa/x/JdV^rat , rbv Se/ccc 
ttol€l reXetov iav Se 77eotTTa/cts", iavrrjv 1 irdXiv 
a7rooloa)ow, ico §' ore 7rpa)rrj 2 {lev £k TTpojTtov 

E dvolv rerpayojvojv gvv€ott)K€ rrjs re fiovdoos /cat 
ttjs rerpdhos r\ Trevrds, 7rpd)rrj S* toov hvvapLevr] 
rols TTpo avrrjs Sucrt to KaXAiOTOV rcov opdoycovicov 
Tpcywvojv avvlcrrrjat' 7rpcurrj Se TTOiel rov rjpuoXiov 
Aoyov. ov yap lgojs ot/ceta ravra toZs vttokcl- 
[levois 7Tpdyp,CLOiv aAA' eKelvo piaXXov, to (f>voei 
hiaiperiKov rod dpidjxov koX to rrXeiora rovrco 3 
ty)v <f>vaiv oiaveixeiv. eWtixe 4 yap tj/jliv avrols 
aioOrjoeis 7T€vr€ Kal fxepr] i/jvx?]9> <f>vriKov* aloOrj- 
riKov eTTidvfjLrjriKov 6vp,oeihes XoyioriKov Kal 
oaKTvXovs e/carepas %€Lp6s tooovtovs, /cat to 

F yovi/jbcoraTOV 07rep/jLa TTevTaxf} oxi£,6/JLevov. ov yap 
LOToprjTai yvvrj TrXelova re/coua' rf rrevTe re'/cya 7 
rat? aurats" a>Stat. /cat ttjv 'Pe'av Atyi;7rrtot puvdo- 

XoyOVOL 7T€VT€ 06OVS T€K€LV, alviTTO^VOl T7]V €K 

puds vXrjs tcov nevTe koojjlojv yeveoiv. ev Se tco 

TTavrl 7T€VT€ JJL€V ^COVatS 6 7T€pl y?\V TOTTOS, 7T€VT€ 

Se kvkXois 6 ovpavos Stoj/uarat, Svalv ap/crt/cots 
/cat 8vol TpoiriKoZs /cat /xecroj ra> larjpiepiva> 
430 rrevTe S' at to)v rrXavoJixevwv dorpojv irepioooi 
yeyovaoiv, 'HAt'ou /cat <&u)cr<f>6pov /cat SrtAj8a>vos > 
opLoSpojjio wtcov. lvapp,6vios he /cat rj tov /coct/xou 
avvTa^is, cooTrep d/xe'Aet /cat to Trap* t)pZv r)pp,o- 

1 iavrrjv Bernardakis : eavrov. 

2 irpcLrrj Turnebus : rtpdrovy or rrpihrov €t. 

3 tovto) Wyttenbach : tovtojv. 

4 eveific (as below bis) Bernardakis: iv jjlcv. 

5 <j>vtik6v Wyttenbach : <f>voa<6v. 

6 rj added by Emperius. 7 tIkvo. Wyttenbach : avyya. 

° Cf. 388 d, supra, b Ibid. 391 a. 

454 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 429-430 

if it be taken an even number of times, makes ten 
exactly ; and if an odd number of times, it reproduces 
itself. a I leave out of account the fact that it is the 
first composite of the first two squares, unity and the 
tetrad b ; and that it is the first whose square is equal 
to the two immediately preceding it, making with 
them the most beautiful of the right-angled triangles ; 
and it is the first to give the ratio 1| : l. d However, 
perhaps these matters have not much relation to 
the subject before us ; but there is another matter 
more closely related, and that is the dividing power of 
this number, by reason of its nature, and the fact that 
Nature does distribute most things by fives. For 
example, she has allotted to ourselves five senses and 
five parts to the soul e : physical growth, perception, 
appetite, fortitude, and reason ; also five fingers on 
each hand, and the most fertile seed when it is divided 
five times, for there is no record that a woman ever 
had more than five children together at one birth/ 
The Egyptians have a tradition g that Rhea gave birth 
to five gods, an intimation of the genesis of the five 
worlds from one single Matter ; and in the universe 
the surface of the earth is divided among five zones, 
and the heavens by five circles, two arctic, two tropic, 
and the equator in the middle. Five, too, are the 
orbits of the planets, if the Sun and Venus and Mercury 
follow the same course. The organization of the world 
also is based on harmony, just as a tune with us is seen 

c Ibid. 373 f. d Ibid. 389 d. 

• Cf. 390 f, supra ; Plato, Republic, 410 b, 440 e-441 a; 
and much diffused in Timaeus, 70 ff. 

f Cf. Moralia* 264 b ; Aristotle, Historia Animalium, 
vii. 4 (584 b 33) ; since Plutarch's time there have been a 
few authenticated cases of sextuplets. 

9 Cf 355 d-f, supra. 

4,55 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(430) OfJL€VOV €V TT€VT€ T€Tpax6p8ti)V deoeOLV OpctTat, TU)V 
VTTOLTCOV KCLl fl€CTCOV Kdl OVV7] fAjJLeVCOV Kdl 8l6^€Uy- 

fievcov Kal VTrepfioXatcov /cat ra fxeXcphovfieva Sia- 
orr]\xara rrevre, oUols Kal r)parovtov Kal rovos Kal 
TptrjjJUTOviov Kal hirovov, ovrcos rj cpvots eotKe 
rco irevre rtoieiv amavra xaipeiv fiaXXov rj rco 
acfiaipoeiSf}, 1 Kaddrrep 'ApiororeXrjs eXeye. 

37. ' ' Tt hrjra^ cftrjoai ris av, ' 6 TlXdrcov irrl rd 

B Trevre a^rj/xara rov rcov rrevre koo[lcov dpidjxov 
dvrjveyKev, elrrtov ore rfj rrefirrrrj avordoei 6 deos 
errl ro rrav Karexp^aaro eKetvo Sta^cpypac^cov 2 ; ' 
etra rr)v rrepl rod rrXrjdovs rcov Koaficov vrrodels 
amopiaVy rrorepov ev rj rrevr avrovs dXrjBeia 
rre<f>vKoras Xeyecv rrpoarrjKei, SrjXog iariv ivrevdev 
olojJLevos cbpfirjodai rrjv vrrovoiav. eirrep ovv Set 
rrpos rr)v ercelvov Stdvotav errdyecv ro etKos, 
GKOTTcopiev 3 ore rals rcov acofidrcov Kal oyy)p,drcov 
eKelvcov hco^cpopals dvdyKT] Kal Kivr\oecov evdvs 
erreaOat hiacjyopds , coorrep avros SiSdcrKei, ro Sia- 
Kpivopevov r) ovyKpivo\ievov dfxa* rijs ovaias rfj 

C erepoicoaei Kal rov rorrov fieraXXdrretv arrocj>aiv6- 
fjievos. av yap i£ depos rrvp yevrjr at, XvOevros rov 
oKraeopov Kal KeppLartoOevros els rrvpapiiSas, rj 
rrdXtv drjp etc rrvpos, avvcooOevros Kal ovvQXifievros 
els OKrdeSpov, ov hvvarov fievetv orrov rrporepov 
rjv, dXXd cpevyei Kal <j>eperai rrpos erepav xd>P av 
e.K^ia^op.evov Kal p,ay6[Levov rots evtorapLevois Kal 

1 oc/xiipoeihr} Turnebus : a^cupoeiSet. 

2 biaC<x>ypa<f)cov Patzig: from Plato, Timaens, 55 c ff., and 
Plutarch, Moralia* 1003 c: hmypd^v. 

3 eirdyeiv . . . OK07r<x)fX€v Wyttcnbaeli : a7rdy€ii> . . . okottojv. 

4 a/xa Turnebus : ovo^a. 

456 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 430 

to depend on the five notes of the tetrachord a : 
lowest, middle, conjunct, disjunct, and highest ; and 
the musical intervals are five : quarter-tone, semitone, 
tone, tone and a half, and double tone. Thus it 
appears that Nature takes a greater delight in making 
all things in fives than in making them round, as 
Aristotle b has said. 

37. " ' Why, then,' someone will say, ' did Plato c 
refer the number of his five worlds to the five geo- 
metric figures, saying that God used up the fifth 
construction on the universe in completing its 
embellishment ? ' Further on, where he suggests the 
question about there being more worlds than one, d 
whether it is proper to speak of one or of five as in 
truth naturally existent, it is clear that he thinks that 
the idea started from this source. If, therefore, we 
must apply reasonable probability to his conception, 
let us consider that variations in movement necessarily 
follow close upon the variations in the bodies and their 
shapes, as he himself teaches* when he makes it plain 
that whatever is disunited or united changes its place 
at the same time with the alteration of its substance. 
For example, if fire is generated from air by the 
breaking up of the octahedron and its resolution into 
pyramids, or again if air is generated from fire by its 
being forced together and compressed into an octa- 
hedron, it is not possible for it to stay where it was 
before, but it escapes and is carried to some other 
place, forcing its way out and contending against 
anything that blocks its course or keeps it back. 

• Cf. 389 e, 1028 f, 1138 f-1139 b. 
* Cf Aristotle, De Caelo, ii. 4 (286 b 10). 

c Plato, Timaeus, 55 c. 

d Ibid. 31 a ; cf. o89 f and 421 f, supra. 

e Plato, Timaeus, 57 c. 

457 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(430) KOLT€lT€iyoVGlV . €Tt 0€ fl&AAoV eiKOVl TO GVflficuVOV 
€VO€LKVVTai, ' TO IS VTTO TCOV TrAoKaVCOV 1 Kdl 00- 
yOLVCOV TCOV 2 TTepl TTJV TOV OlTOV KaddpOW 0~€tO- 

p,evois *cat 3 avaXiKpuopLivois ' ojjlolcos Aeycov to. 
D orot^cta oeiovTa ttjv vArjv vtt* eKeivrjs re oeLOfxeva, 

7TpOOXOJp€LV del T(X OfJLOLd TOIS OfJLOLOLS , aAA7]V T€ 

\copav aAAa tcr^ety* TTplv e£ 5 avTCJV yeveoOai to rrdv 
SiaKoo/JL-qdev ovtcos ovv totc 6 ttjs vArjs ixovarjs cog 
eyeiv to rrdv eiKOs ov Beds 7 drxeoTiv evOvs at 
irpcoTai tt£vt€ 7toi6tt]T€s ISiag e^owou porrdg e<f>e- 
povTO xoj/hV, ov iravTaTraoiv ou8' elAiKpivcos dno- 
Kpivofievat, Std to rrdvTcov dvafjuefjuetyixevcov del rd 
KpaTOVfitva toZs eiriKpaTovoi rrapd 8 cfivoiv erreodai. 
Std S77 rots' tcov acofiaTcov yevecnv aKAcov aAAa^ 
<f>epofjLevcov loapiOpiovs fiept8ag kclI Staaraaet? 
eTroirjoav, ttjv fiev ov Kadapov rrvpog dAAd TrvpoeiSrj, 
ttjv 8 9 ovk dpuyovs aWepog dAA' alOepoeihrj, ttjv 
E S' ov yrjs avTrjs ko-Q* iavTrjv dAAd yeoeiSrj' /zdAtara 
Se kclto? ttjv depog kolvcoolv tt]v vSoltos hUOeVTO™ 
rroAAdov, coorrep etprjTac, tcov dAAocpvAcov 11 dva- 
7^e7^A^cr/X€V ,12 drreAdelv. ov yap 6 deog SteoTrjoev 
ovSe SccpKcae ttjv ovolav, dAA' U7r' avTrjs SceoTcooav 
avTrjv /cat $epo\ievj)v ycoplg ev d/cocr/xtats' Toaaurat? 

1 \mo rcov nXoKcivtov Turnebus from Plato, Timaeus, 52 e: 
im rcov inziyovrcov. 

2 rcov Turnebus ibid. 

3 acioucvou kclI Turnebus ibid. : iyKfifxdvois. 

4 aAAa taxcLv Turnebus ibid. : aAAais ol or aAAa ot. 

5 cf Bernardakis : eV (aV ?). 

• ovv totc] rolvw in one ms. (E). 

7 ov Ocos Wyttenbach from Plato : evdetos or evOeos. 

8 napd] Kara Xy lander. 

9 Kara F.C.B. : kcu. 

10 hudtvro F.C.B. : 8iar3. 
458 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 430 

What takes place he describes more clearly by a 
simile/ 1 saying that in a manner like to ' grain and 
chaff being tossed about and winnowed by the fans 
and other tools used in cleaning the grain ' the 
elements toss matter about and are tossed about by 
it ; and like always draws near to like, some things 
occupying one place and others another, before the 
universe becomes completely organized out of the 
elements. Thus, when matter was in that state in 
which, in all probability, is the universe from which God 
is absent, the first five properties, having tendencies 
of their own, were at once carried in different direc- 
tions, not being completely or absolutely separated, 
because, when all things were amalgamated, the 
inferior always followed the superior in spite of 
Nature. 5 For this reason they produced in the 
different kinds of bodies, as these were carried some 
in one direction and others in another, an equal 
number of separate divisions with intervals between 
them, one not of pure fire, but fiery, another not of 
unmingled ether, but ethereal, another not of earth 
by itself alone, but earthy ; and above all, in keeping 
with the close association of air with water, they 
contrived, as has been said, c that these should come 
away filled with many foreign elements. It was not 
the Deity who parted substance and caused it to rest 
in different places, but, after it had been parted by its 
own action and was being carried in diverse ways in 
such great disarray, he took it over and set it in 

a Plato, Timaetis, 52 e. 

b Some would prefer to make Plutarch say ' in keeping 
with Nature.' e Cf. 428 d-e, supra. 

11 aX\o<f>v\u)v] aXXcov <j>vXK<x>v (<l>vXajv) in all mss. but J. 
12 avaTTcnATjoncv* Turnebus : av<nT€irXr)oii*vu>v, 

459 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

TrapaAajjwv, €Ta£e Kal ovvrjppiooe St' dvaXoyco^ 
Kal ix€o6rrjros % eW eKaorrr) Xoyov iyKaraoryjaag 
a)(j7T€p apfioarrjv Kal (f>vXaKa, Koopuovs irroLrjoe 
togovtovs , oaa yevrj tcov irpojTOJV oojfiaTOJV 
-p V7Trjpx€. ravra pitv ovv rfj TlXaTOJvos dvaKclaOco 
XapLTi 01 'ApLpLWViov iycb o€ rrepl pcev dpiOfiov 
Koopuajv ovk dv ttot€ ouoxvpioaipuqv on tooovtol, 
ttjv Se irXeiovas puev evos ov pirjv arrelpovs dXX 
<l)piGp,evov <r TrXrjdei TiOepLevqv oo£av ovoertpas €Kel- 
vojv dXoyajrepav rjyovpiai, to <f>vo€L rrjs vXys ok€- 
oaorov Kal pL€pt,o~Tov 6pa>v ovt* i<f> y evos puevov out* 
431 etV arreipov vtto tov Xoyov ftaoll^eiv iwpuevov. el 
S' dXXaxoOc 7tov Kavravda 1 tt)s 'AfcaS^/xeias' vtto- 
pLLpLvrjOKovres iavTovs to dyav tt\s nioTews a^>- 
atpcoLiev, Kal ttjv ao<f>dX€iav atOTTcp iv ^co/ota; 
GcfyaXepco, rw irepl Trjs direipias Xoyto, pidvov 
oiaGcp[,a){A€v ." 

38. y Epiov Se TavT €lttovtos 6 A^/x^rpto?, " op- 
6a>S," e^ 7 ], " AapbirpLas irapatvel. 

' 7ToXXats yap ol Oeol /xop^ats 1 ' 

ov ' Go^LGpLaTayv,* cos* EvptTTLor]s (fcrjolv, aAAa 
TrpaypLaTOiv ' o<f>dXXovoiv ypuas/ OTav cos em- 
GTd\xavoi ToXpbtOLiev dTro<j>aiveo9ai rrepl t7]Xikovto)v . 
aAA avoiOTeos o Aoyos, co? o avTos avr)p 
<f>7)GLv, errl ttjv ££ dpx^S V7t60€Glv. to yap d<f>- 
B iGTaiLevajv Kal air oXeirr ovt ojv rd xP y ) GTy )P ia ra ^ v 
oaipiovcov tborrep opyava TexviTU>v dpyd Kal dvavoa 
Keiodai Xex^ev eTepov Xoyov eyeipei top rrepl ttjs 
acTtas fiel^ova Kal Swdfieats, fj 2 xpwfievot rrocovai 

1 Kavravda] Kav in nearly all mss. 
2 § Turnebus : 4* (<*>$> cus). 
460 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 430-431 

order and fitted it together by the use of proportions 
and means. Then, after establishing Reason in each as 
a governor and guardian, he created as many worlds 
as the existing primal bodies. Let this, then, be an 
offering for the gratification of Plato on Ammonius's 
account, but as for myself, I should not venture to 
assert regarding the number of worlds that they are 
just so many ; but the opinion that sets their number 
at more than one, and yet not infinite, but limited in 
amount, I regard as no more irrational than either 
of the others, when I observe the dispersiveness and 
divisibility implicit by nature in Matter, and that it 
neither abides as a unit nor is permitted by Reason to 
progress to infinity. But if in any other place we have 
recalled the Academy a to our mind, let us do so here 
as well, and divest ourselves of excessive credulity 
and, as if we were in a slippery place in our discussion 
about infinity, let us merely keep a firm footing/ ' 

38. When I had said this, Demetrius remarked, 
M Lamprias gives the right advice ; for 

The gods make us to slip by many forms 
not ' of tricks,' as Euripides b says, but of facts, 
whenever we make bold to pronounce opinions about 
such matters as if we understood them. ' But the 
discussion must be carried back,' as the same writer 
says, c to the assumption made at the beginning. For 
what was said then, that when the demigods with- 
draw and forsake the oracles, these lie idle and 
inarticulate like the instruments of musicians, raises 
another question of greater import regarding the 
causative means and power which they employ to 

° Cf. 387 f, supra. 

b Cf. Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag. p. 674, Euripides, no. 972. 

c Cf. the note on 390 c, supra. 

461 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(431) KCLTOXOVS TOLS evOoVOLOLOfJLOLS /Cat <f)aVT(l(Jia(JTlKOVS 

tovs 7Tpo(f>rjrag /cat tcls TTpocfrrjTihas. ov yap olov 
T€ ttjv eKXeafjtv atrtdaOai rod aVauSaV to, fiavTela, 
fjurj 7T€(,cr9evTas ov rpoirov icf)€OTa)T€s clvtoTs /cat 
rrap6vr€s evepyd /cat Aoyta rtoiovaiv ol 8atp,oves»" 
I TToAapcov o o AfJLfJLcovios , oi€i yap erepov ri 
tovs Salfiovas" eiTrev, " fj ifjvxds ovrag TreptrroXelv 
/ca#' HotoSov ' rj4pa eooapLevovs ' ; ipLol fiev yap, 

C rjv avdpojiTOS e^et oiafiopdv 77/009 avdpojrrov 
VTTOKpivopitvov TpaycooLav tj KOJjjbcohiaVy ravrrjv 
^X CIV So/cct faxy npos 1 iftvxty eveaKevaop,evr)v 
croj/xa r<& 2 TrapoVn jSta> 7Tp6o<j>opov. z ovSev ovv 
aXoyov ovSe davfiaarov, el ipvxai ifjvxals ivTvyxd- 
vovoai (f>avTaatas epLrroiovai tov pieAAovTos, tooTrep 
rjpLeis dAArj^ots ov Trdvra Sta (f>ojvrjs aAAa /cat ypapu- 
fiaon /cat diyovres puovov /cat TrpoopAei/javTes 7roAAa 
/cat fJLrjvvopLZV tojv yeyovorayv /cat tojv iaopLeva>v 
7rpoar)p,aivop,ev . el ut] Tt au Aeyeis erepov, cS 
Aa/x77/Dta* /cat yap evayxos f}Ke tls <f>a)vrj TTpos 
rj/ias, ws aov 7roAAa Trepl tovtojv ev Ae/JaSeta 
^evois SiaAexOevTos, cov ovSev 6 Sirjyovpievos 

D aKpLfitds SiepLvrjpioveve. 1 ' 

" Mt) davpLaurjSy" e$r\v iyw, " rroAAal yap a/xa 
rrpd^eis Sta fieaov /cat aa^oAtat owTuy^dVo uaat 
Sta to fiavreiav* elvai /cat Ovaiav tovs Aoyovs St- 
eoTrapiievovs rjpuv /cat OTropdoas e7roir]Gav. y 

'AAAa iw," o 'AfjLjJiajvios €(/>rj, " /cat 0^0 A^i> 
ayovras aKpoards ^X ei$6 Kai vpodvpLovs* ra puev 



1 foxv npos added by Xylander. 

2 rw added by Emperius. 

3 7Tp6o(f>opov Reiske : Trpoofyipziv. 

lavrtiav F.C.B. {cf. 1125 e) : fiavreto 



4 fiavreiav F.C.B. (cf. 1125 e) : fiavretov, 

462 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 431 

make the prophetic priests and priestesses possessed 
by inspiration and able to present their visions. For 
it is not possible to hold that the desertion by the 
demigods is the reason for the silence of the oracles 
unless we are convinced as to the manner in which 
the demigods, by having the oracles in their charge 
and by their presence there, make them active and 
articulate/ ' 

Here Ammonius joined in and said, " Do you really 
think that the demigods are aught else than souls that 
make their rounds, ' in mist apparelled/ as Hesiod a 
says ? To my mind the difference between man and 
man in acting tragedy or comedy is the difference 
between soul and soul arrayed in a body suitable for 
its present life. It is, therefore, not at all unreasonable 
or even marvellous that souls meeting souls should 
create in them impressions of the future, exactly as 
we do not convey all our information to one another 
through the spoken word, but by writing also, or 
merely by a touch or a glance, we give much infor- 
mation about what has come to pass and intimation 
of what is to come. Unless it be, Lamprias, that you 
have another story to tell. For not long ago a rumour 
reached us about your having had a long talk on these 
subjects with strangers at Lebadeia, but the man who 
told of it could recall none of it with exactness." 

" You need not be surprised," said I, " since many 
activities and distractions occurring in the midst of it, 
because it was a day for oracles and sacrifice, made 
our conversation desultory and disconnected." 

" But now," said Ammonius, " you have listeners 
with nothing to distract them and eager to seek and 
° Works and Days, 125. 

5 *X €iS ) *X €i 1° mos t M ss. 8 npoOvfiovs Reiske : npoOvfioi. 

463 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

£r)T€LV TO. §€ fJLOLvddveW, €pl8oS eKTToSoOV OVGTJS KOL 

<f>iXoveiKias OLTrdcrrjs ovyyvwp,T)s oe ttclvtI Xoyco /cat 
Trapprjoias d>s opas oeoopieviqs." 

39. Tavra Sr) /cat toov dXXa>v ovprrapaKaXovv- 
toov, fjLLKpov eyco ocooTrrjoras, " /cat pr)v drro tvx 7 }^ 
twos, cb 'AjJLfJioovLe, tols Tore Xoyotg avTos dpx^] v 
E rt^a /cat rrdpooov evoeocoKas. el yap at Sta- 
Kpideloai atofxaros, r) (jlt) /xcraa^ouaat to irapd- 
irav ifjv)(cd Salfioves etcrt /caTa ae /cat tov Qelov 
'HoloSov, 

dyvoc 1 €7nxd6vtoL (f)vXaK€s Bvyyr&v dv0poo7roov, 

Sid ti Tas €P toZs ocopacrt ijjvxds eKeivqs Trjs 
ovvdpecos drrooTepovpiev, fj tol peXXovTa /cat irpo- 
yiyvoooKeiv TrecfivKaot. /cat TrpohrjXovv oi Satpoves; 
ovt€ yap ovvap,w ovt€ p,epo$ ovSev eTTiylyveoQai 
Tats j/ru^at9, oTav diroXLTTGOOi to ooopa, pur) K€Ktt}- 
jiteVat? 7TpOT€pOV etKos loTiv y aAA' del p.ev *X €LV > 
e\eiv ok cf)avXoT€pa too ocopaTi p,epeiyp,evas, /cat 
Ta pev oXoos dSrjXa /cat KeKpvppeva ra 8* dodevrj 
F /cat dpavpa /cat rot? St* opLtxXrjs opoooiv r) kivov- 
pievois £v vypco TTapaTrXr)oioos ovaepya /cat fipaoea, 
/cat 7ToX\r)v TTodovvTa depaneiav tov olkclov /cat 
dvdXrufjiv d<f>aipeow he /cat Kadapaiv tov koXvtttov- 
tos. 2 coarrep yap 6 rjXcos ovx orav oia<f>vyr) ra 

ve(f>rj yiyveTai Aa/z7rpo9, dAA' eort pev del c^atVcrat 
432 S' rjpuv ev o/xt^A^ 8vcr(f>ar)g teal dpavpos, ovtgos r) 
*P V XV rr ) v P'Clvtlktjv ovk em/craVat ovvapiv e/cjSdaa 

1 ay vol] iaOXol Hesiod. 

2 KaXvTTTOvros Emperius : kXctttovtos {kmXvovtos m one MS., 
which also adds a short paraphrase of what has gone before). 

464 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 431-432 

gain information on this point or that ; all strife and 
contention is banished and a sympathetic hearing 
and freedom of statement, as you observe, is granted 
for all that may be said/' 

39. As the others also joined in the request, I, after 
a moment of silence, continued, " As a matter of fact, 
Ammonius, by some chance you happen to be the one 
who provided the opening and approach for what was 
said on that occasion. For if the souls which have 
been severed from a body, or have had no part with 
one at all, are demigods according to you and the 
divine Hesiod, a 

Holy dwellers on earth and the guardian spirits of mortals, 

why deprive souls in bodies of that power by virtue 
of which the demigods possess the natural faculty 
of knowing and revealing future events before they 
happen ? For it is not likely that any power or por- 
tion accrues to souls when they have left the body, 
if they did not possess them before ; but the souls 
always possess them ; only they possess them to 
a slight degree while conjoined with the body, some 
of them being completely imperceptible and hidden, 
others weak and dim, and about as ineffectual and 
slow in operation as persons that try to see in a fog or 
to move about in water, and requiring much nursing 
and restoring of the functions that properly belong to 
them and the removal and clearing away of the cover- 
ing which hides them. Just as the sun does not 
become bright when it bursts through the clouds, 
but is bright always, and yet in a fog appears to us 
indistinct and dim, even so the soul does not acquire 
the prophetic power when it goes forth from the body 
9 Works and Days, 123. 

4,65 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(432) rov GwfJLaros a>07T€p vcfiovg, dAA' €x ovcra /cat vvv 
TV(f)XovraL Scot rrjv rrpog to dvr}TOV avdp€it;w avrrjs 
/cat ovyxvoiv. ov Set Se davpd^eiv ouS' amar^lv 
6pa>vras, et fiyhev dXXo, rrjs i[tvx?)$ rrjv dvTLGTpocfrov 
rfj jjLavTiKj) ovvapuv, tjv jjLvrjjjbrjv /caAou/xev, tjXIkov 
epyov airohelKwrai to croj£etv ra irapcpx r jf JL ^ va Kat 
(frvXarrew, jjl&XXov Se ovra' ra>v yap yeyovorajv 
ovSev eoriv ou8' y(f)earr)K€V, dAA* dfia yiyverai 
TTavra /cat (frdeipeTaL, /cat rrpd^eis /cat Xoyoi Kat 
B TraOrjfxara, rod xP ovov KaOdrrep ptvpuaTos eKaara 

7TCLpa(f)€pOVTOS' aVTT) §€ TTJS ^X^S V ^VVOLfJilS OVK 

otS' ovriva rpoTTOv avTiXap^avopievr] rols p>rj 
irapovoi <f>avTauiav /cat ovoiav irepiTi6r)Oiv . 6 pikv 
yap QeTTaXols rrepl "Apvqs 1 SoOels ^p^oao? 
e/cc'Aeue <j>pdt,eiv 

KU)<f)OV T aKOTjV TV(f)XotO T€ hip^LV, 

rj oe pjvr\prf) /cat Ka)(f>a)v Trpaypidrcov d/co?) /cat 
TV<f)Xa)v oifjis rjfjuv eortv. o6ev, d>s ecf>rjv, ovk eart 
davjiaoTov, el Kparovaa rcov firjK€T y 6vra>v npo- 
Xapbfiavci 7ToAAd rcov firjSeTra) yeyovorcov ravra 
yap avrfj paXAov irpocrrjK€L /cat tovtols avfJLTTadrjS 
iarc /cat yap €77t/3dAAerat /cat TTpoaTiOerai 2 Trpos 
ra pueXXovra /cat ra)v z 7TapcpX7]p,€va)v /cat reXos 
^xovTOiv aTT7])(\aKrai ttXt\v tov ixvrjfjiovtveiv. 
40. TavT7]v ovv exovaai ttjv ovvapuv at i/nr^at 
ovficfrvTov jxkv dpuvopdv Se /cat ovo<f>dvTaoTOV , opaos 
i^avdoven 77oAAd/cts' /cat draAaju/zrouaty 4 eV Te rots 

1 "Apvrjs Turnebus: avn??. 

2 TTpooriQeTCLi F.C.B. : TrporiQeTai, 

3 ra>^ added by Stegmann. 

4 dvaAa/i7roucrtv one ms. (E) and Emperius : dyaAa/xj3ayou<7iv. 

466 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 432 

as from a cloud ; it possesses that power even now, 
but is blinded by being combined and commingled 
with the mortal nature. We ought not to feel sur- 
prised or incredulous at this when we see in the 
soul, though we see naught else, that faculty which 
is the complement of prophecy, and which we call 
memory, and how great an achievement is displayed 
in preserving and guarding the past, or rather what 
has been the present, since nothing of all that has 
come to pass has any existence or substantiality, 
because the very instant when anything comes to 
pass, that is the end of it — of actions, words, experi- 
ences alike ; for Time like an everflowing stream 
bears all things onward. But this faculty of the soul 
lays hold upon them, I know not how, and invests with 
semblance and being things not now present here. 
The oracle given to the Thessalians about Arne a bade 
them note 

A deaf man's hearing, a blind man's sight. 

But memory is for us the hearing of deeds to which 
we are deaf and the seeing of things to which we are 
blind. Hence, as I said, it is no wonder that, if it has 
command over things that no longer are, it anticipates 
many of those which have not yet come to pass, since 
these are more closely related to it, and with these 
it has much in common ; for its attachments and 
associations are with the future, and it is quit of all 
that is past and ended, save only to remember it. 

40. " Souls therefore, all possessed of this power, 
which is innate but dim and hardly manifest, never- 
theless oftentimes disclose its flower and radiance in 

« C/. Thucydides, i. 12, 

467 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(432) evvTTvlois /cat irepl Tag reXevr as 1 eVtat, KaOapov 
yiyvo[iivov rod ocopuaTog r\ tlvol Kpaaiv olicetav 

TTpOS TOVTO XafAfidvOVTOS , fj* TO XoyiOTLKOV /Cat 

<f>povTiOTiKov aVt'erat /cat aVoAuerat 3 tcov Trapoirtov 
rep* dXoycp /cat <j>avTaoiaoTLKcp tov /.uXXovrog 
€7rtarp€^ojU.eWt9. 5 ov yap, cog 6 ^ivpt7Ti8rjg <f)rjoi, 

fjbdvns S' 6 dpiOTog ooris ei/ca£et KaXcog, 

aAA* o$Tog epbc^pcov 1 fiev dvr)p /cat rep vovv e^oi'Tt 
rf}$ ipvxrjs /cat /xer' zIkotos rjyov/jLevco /ca#' ooov 
€7r6pL€vos* to Se pLavTLKOv cooTrep y pappuar elov d- 
1") ypacf>ov /cat dXoyov /cat dopiOTOV* i£ avrov, Se/crt/coV 
Se (fyavTaoLcjjv 9 rrddeai /cat 7rpoaLa6rjoecov y dovXXo- 

ytCFTCOS a7TT€Tat TOV peXXoVTOS, OTCLV €KOTTJ (JidXlOTa 

rod TTcxpovTos '. e^tararat Se Kpdcrei /cat Sta#e'aet 
rod ocoparog ei> p,€Taf5oXfj yiyvopevov, 10 rjv 11 evdov- 
ataoyxoV KaAovpuev. avro /xeV ovv ef auTou to ocopa 
ToiavTrjV TToXXaKis tercet 8ta#ecw 77 Se y?} 77oAAojy 
/xeV aAAon* Swa/zea/v 7T7]ydg dvirjow dvOpcbiroig, 
Tag fxev e/co-rart/casr /cat yocrc^Sets' /cat dai'arrjfiopovs , 
Tag Se x/o^oTas' /cat TTpoarjvelg /cat cbcfreXlpovg , cog 
SijXai 1 * yiyvovTai Trelpa TrpooTvyydvovoi. to Se 
pavTiKov pedfxa /cat irvevp.a 0etoVaToV eart /cat 
ooicoTaTov, av re /ca0' iavTo St' depog av re /Lte#' 

1 reAeurd?] rcAcrd? in some mss. 2 $ Wyttenbach : 77. 

3 awerat /cat a7roAu€Tai Wyttenbach : avUodcu ko.1 a7roAueCT^at. 

4 to) added by Wyttenbach. 

5 emarpe^o/Wvats F.C.B. : imaTpefoticvas. 

6 S* in Euripides, omitted in the mss. of Plutarch. 

7 €^,<j>pa)v Meziriacus : 6fi6<l>pu>v. 

8 d6/Horoi>] aoparov Blu inner. 

9 (fravTaotcov Meziriacus : <f>avTaur6v or ^xivraorajv. 

10 ytyvofxevov F.C.B. : yiyvofievou. n ^f Paton : or. 

12 S^Acu. Turnebus : SrjXa. 

468 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 432 

dreams, and some in the hour of death/ 1 when the 
body becomes cleansed of all impurities and attains 
a temperament adapted to this end, a temperament 
through which the reasoning and thinking faculty of 
the souls is relaxed and released from their present 
state as they range amid the irrational and imagina- 
tive realms of the future. It is not true, as Euripides 6 
says, that 

The best of seers is he that guesses well ; 

no, the best of seers is the intelligent man, following 
the guidance of that in his soul which possesses sense 
and which, with the help of reasonable probability, 
leads him on his way. But that which foretells the 
future, like a tablet without writing, is both irrational 
and indeterminate in itself, but receptive of impres- 
sions and presentiments through what may be done 
to it, and inconsequently grasps at the future when 
it is farthest withdrawn from the present. Its with- 
drawal is brought about by a temperament and dis- 
position of the body as it is subjected to a change 
which we call inspiration. Often the body of itself 
alone attains this disposition. Moreover the earth 
sends forth for men streams of many other potencies, 
some of them producing derangements, diseases, or 
deaths ; others helpful, benignant, and beneficial, as 
is plain from the experience of persons who have 
come upon them. But the prophetic current and 
breath is most divine and holy, whether it issue by 
itself through the air or come in the company of 

a Cf. Plato, Apology, 39 b. 

6 Cf. Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag. p. 674, Euripides, no. 
973 ; cf. Moralia t 399 a, supra. 

469 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

B vypov vdfidTos direpaTai} KaTap,€iyvvp,evov yap 
els to ocofia Kpaow e/z7Tot€t Tat? foxcus dydr) /cat 
droTTOV, $$ rrjv ISLorrjra x a ^ €7rov €L7T€lv aa<f>a>s, 
et/cdVat Sc 7roXXaxd>S o Xoyos 8t'8a>crt. deppLOTrjTt 
ydp /cat hia\vaei rropovs Tivas dvolyeiv cfxxvra- 
gtlkovs rov fieXXovros zlkos Iotlv, <vs otvos dva- 
dvfJuaOels erepa 2 7roAAa Kivrj/jbara /cat Xoyovs 
diroKeipiivovs Kal Xavddvovras aTTOKaXvTTTti* 

to yap fiaKxtvoifiov 
/cat to fxavicohes pLavTiKrjv 3 ttoXXtjv e^€t 

F Kar YiipiTTih-qv, orav evOeppios rj fax?} ycvop,ivy\ 
/cat 7Tvpa)8r)s aTTworjrai tt)V evXdfieiav , rjv rj Ovrjrrj 
(f>povrjois iirdyovoa ttoXXclkls arroorpi^ei /cat Kara- 
ofievvvoL rov ivOovoiaofxov. 

41. " "A/xa 8 av tls ovk aXoyais /cat ^rjporrjra 
<f>alrj ftera rrjs deppLorrjTos lyyiyvop,ivr\v Xztttvvziv 
to weu/xa /cat TToieiv aWepwoes /cat KaOapov 
avrr) ydp ' £r)prf foxi*' Ka ®' ' Hoa/cAetTOP\ vypo- 
433 rrjs 8' ov puovov oxfjiv dpfSXvvei /cat aKorjv, dXXd 
/cat KaroTTTpuiv Qiyovoa /cat /xet^fletaa 5 77-06? ae'pa? 
d<f)aipei rrjv XapLTTporr]Ta /cat to <j>eyyos. rovvav- 
riov TtdXiv av Trepajsv^ei tlvl /cat TrvKvutati rod 
7rv€VfiaTos olov ^a<j>fj olSrjpov 6 to irpoyvworiKov 
piopiov ivTeiveoQaC /cat OTop,ovo0ai rrjs fox^s 
ovk dhvvaTov ioTC. /cat firjv ws KaaoiT€pos p.avov 

1 cLTTcpdrai F.C.B. (ava<f>€pT]Tai Bernardakis ; aprvrrjTai S. A. 
Naber) : d<f>atpiJTai. 

2 erepa] ey€ip€L Wyttenbach ; klvci Paton. 

3 fiavTLKrjv Euripides {Bacch. 298) : /xavTcimKi^v in most mss. 

4 ivPV 995 e, Life of Romulus, chap, xxviii., Stobaeus : irjpa. 

5 fjLLxOclaa Emperius : fuvos Kal. 

6 olhypov Michael and Kronenberg: oih-qpov. 

7 ivrtiveoQai Wyttenbach : iyylveaOcu. 
470 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 432 433 

running waters ; for when it is instilled into the body, 
it creates in souls an unaccustomed and unusual 
temperament, the peculiarity of which it is hard to 
describe with exactness, but analogy offers many 
comparisons. It is likely that by warmth and diffusion 
it opens up certain passages through which impres- 
sions of the future are transmitted, just as wine, 
when its fumes rise to the head, reveals many unusual 
movements and also words stored away and un- 
perceived. 

For Bacchic rout 
And frenzied mind contain much prophecy, 

according to Euripides, when the soul becomes hot 
and fiery, and throws aside the caution that human 
intelligence lays upon it, and thus often diverts and 
extinguishes the inspiration. 

41. *' At the same time one might assert, not with- 
out reason, that a dryness engendered with the heat 
subtilizes the spirit of prophecy and renders it 
ethereal and pure ; for this is ' the dry soul/ as 
Heracleitus has it. 6 Moisture not only dulls sight and 
hearing, but when it touches mirrors and combines 
with air, it takes away their brightness and sheen. c 
But again the very opposite of this may not be 
impossible : that by a sort of chilling and compacting 
of the spirit of inspiration the prophetic element in 
the soul, as when steel is dipped in cold water, is 
rendered tense and keen. And further, just as tin 

Bacchae, 298. 

b * A dry soul is best (and/or wisest) ' is the dictum of 
Heracleitus, which is often quoted ; see Diels, Frag, der 
Vorsokratiker, i. p. 100, Heracleitus, no. b 118; c/. also 
Moralia % 995 e, and Life of Romulus, chap, xxviii. (36 a). 

e C/. Plutarch, Mor'alia, 736 a-b. 

471 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(433) ovra /cat iroXviropov tov \ci\k6v ev-CLKels dfia fl€V 

€G(f)Ly^€ KCLL KaT€TtVKVO)G€V Ct/Xa OC XajATTpOTtpOV 

oVe'Set^e /cat Kadapwrepov, ovrcos ovoev direx* 1 ttjv 
fiavTLKrjv avaBv piLaoiv oIkzlov tx Tat? iftvx<rfs /cat 
ovyyeves exovoav dvaTrXrjpovv ra fxava /cat avv- 
B ^X €LV ^vapyiorrovcrav . dXXa yap aXXois ot/ceta /cat 
7Tp6a(f)opa, KaOaTrep rrjs jiev irop<f>vpas 6 /cua/xo? 

T7JS Se KOKKOV TO VLTpOV 8o/C€t TTJV fiacfrrjV €77- 

dyeiv 2 {i€fJL€LyiJL€vov 
fivcrcra) Se yXavKrjs kokkov* /cara/xtoyerat d/crtV, 4 

CO? y EfJL7T€OOKX7)S €ipr]K€. 7T€pl Se TOV KvSvOV* /Cat 

ttjs Upas rov AttoXAojvos eV Tapoto /xa^atpas", c3 
cf>iXe A^/x^Tpte, aou XeyovTos rjKovofiev, ojs ovt h 
6 KvSvos dXAov 7 €KKa9aLp€i oihripov rf Ikzivov ov&* 
v8a>p dXXo ttjv pidxciLpav fj €K€lvo m Kaddrrep eV 

y 0XvfJL7Tia TTjV T€(j>paV TTpOOTrXaTTOVOl TO) /8a>/xa> 

/cat TrepLTT-qyvvovow c/c tov 'AXcfretov Trapax^ovTes 
C vSwp, €Tepa)u Se 7T€ipa)fi€voi rroTapLajv 9 ouSe^t 
ovvavTat ovvayayelv ot)Se KoXXrjoai tt\v Tec/)pav. 

42. " Ov OavjJiaoTeov ovv, et iroXAd ttjs yrjg dva> 
pevfiaTa iieduiwqs, rawra fxova Tas ipvxds evdov- 
ataoTLKcog StaTtOrjoi /cat <f>avTaoiaoTiKd)s tov /xe'A- 
Xovtos- d/xe'Aet 10 Se /cat ra ttjs ^pirjs owaSet ra) 

1 K-ua/Lto?] /cuavoff Paton and Hatzidakis. 
2 lirdytiv F.C.B. (av^€iv Wyttenbacll) : ayeiv. 

3 kokkov Xylander (kokkos Diels): kpokov, Kpovov, KpoKov. 

4 &KTis not in most mss. (6.ktt}s Wilamowitz-M Ollendorff). 

5 Kv&vov] Kvdyiov in all mss. but one (E). 

« ovt added by Madvig. 7 dXXov Emperius : fidAXov. 

8 rj added by Emperius. 

9 €T€pcjv • • . norafia)v Schellens : €T€pq> . . . 7rora/x<p. 

10 a/ieAec Wyttenbach : dfiaxeL 

472 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 433 

when alloyed with copper, which is loose and porous 
in texture, binds it together and compacts it, a and 
at the same time makes it brighter and cleaner, even 
so there is nothing to prevent the prophetic vapour, 
which contains some affinity and relationship to souls, 
from filling up the vacant spaces and cementing ail 
together by fitting itself in. For one thing has 
affinity and adaptability for one thing, another for 
another, just as the bean b seems to further the 
dyeing of purple and sodium carbonate that of 
scarlet, when mixed with the dye ; 

All in the linen is blended the splendour of glorious scarlet, 

as Empedocles d has said. But regarding the Cydnus 
and the sacred sword of Apollo in Tarsus we used 
to hear you say, my dear Demetrius, that the 
Cydnus will cleanse no steel but that, and no other 
water will cleanse that sword. There is a similar 
phenomenon at Olympia, where they pile the ashes 
against the altar and make them adhere all around 
by pouring on them water from the Alpheius ; but, 
although they have tried the waters of other rivers, 
there is none with which they can make the ashes 
cohere and stay fixed in their place. 

42. " It is not, therefore, anything to excite 
amazement if, although the earth sends up many 
streams, it is only such as these that dispose souls to 
inspiration and impressions of the future. Certainly 
the voice of legend also is in accord with my state- 

° Cf. Aristotle, Be Generatione Animal inm, ii. 8 (747 a 34). 

6 Cf. H. Blumner, G ewer be unci Klinste bei Griechen und 
Romern (Leipzig, 1875), i. 236. 

c Ibid. 238. 

d Cf. Diels, Frag, der Vorsokratiker, i. p. 255, Em- 
pedocles, no. b 93. 

473 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(433) Aoyor /cat yap evravda rrjv irepl tov tottov §vvajjuv 
ifi(f>avfj yeveodai irp&rov Icrropovatv, vofietos tivos 
ifjL7T€(j6vTos Kara Tvxrjv, etra <f>a>vds dva<f>epovTO$ 
evdovoiujheis , <&v to fiev 7rpwTov ol ixapayevo\xevoi 
KaT€<f>povovv , varepov he yevopbevwv tov TTpoelirev 
6 avdpu>7ros, iOavfJLaaav. ol he Xoyiwraroi KeX^wv 
D /cat Tovvofia rov dvdpcoirov hiap.vqiiovevovTe$ 
Kop-qrav Xeyovoiv., ifxol he So/cet /iaAtora Toiavrrjv 
TTpos to fjuavriKov nvevfia Xajx^dveiv avyKpacriv 
*P V XV Kai ^vjjL7Trj^iv, olav irpos to <f>tos rj oiftis 
opLoiOTraOks yiyvopuevov 6<f)6aX[jLov re yap exovTos 
rrjv opcLTLKrjv 8vvajj.iv ovhev dvev <f>a)TOS epyov 

€GTLV, l/jVXfjS T€ TO fJLaVTIKOV OJG7T€p OflfJLa SetTat TOV 
OVV€^a7TTOVTOS OLK€LOV Kal UVV€7ndrjyOVTOS . odev 
OL fJL€V 7ToXXol TO>V 7Tpoy€V€OT€pUJV eVa /Cat TOV 

avTov rjyovvro deov 'AnoXXwva /cat rjXtov ol he 
ttjv KaXrjv /cat ao<f>r)v emora/xevot /cat Ti/jLajvTes 
aVaAoytav, oirep 1 oujfia 7Tpos iffvx^v oiptg he irpos 
E vovv (fxjos 8c TTpos aXrjOeidv eoTi, tovto tt)v rjXiov 
hvvapuv €LKa£ov etvai, 777009 tt)v * AttoXXojvos <f>vcriv, 
eKyovov €K€lvov Kal tokov ovtos 2 del yiyvo\ievov 
del tovtov aTTo<}>aivovT€s .* cfcwrm yap Kal irpo- 
ayerat /cat auvc^op/xa tt}s aladrjaeays tj)v opart/cqv 
ovvapLLV ovto$ d)$ ttjs ^XV S r V v fJLavTtKrjv eKelvos. 

43. "Oi fievTOL hogd^ovres eva Kal tov avTov 
deov etvai, etKOTOJS 'AttoXXoivi Kal Tfj koivojs olv- 
edeoav to xprjarrjpiov , oto/xevot tt^v 8ta0catv /cat 
Kpaoiv efjL7T0ietv ttj yfj tov rjXtov, d<£' fjs eK<f)ep€~ 

1 6n€p] ottojs in most mss. 

2 ovros] ovtcus in some mss. 

3 a7TO<l>aivovr€s] airo^aivovros in most mss. 

474 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 433 

ment ; for they record that here the power hovering 
about this spot was first made manifest when a 
certain shepherd fell in by accident and later gave 
forth inspired utterances, which those who came into 
contact with him at first treated with disdain ; but 
later, when what he had foretold came to pass, they 
were amazed. The most learned of the people o{ 
Delphi still preserve the tradition of his name, which 
they say was Coretas. But I incline most to the 
opinion that the soul acquires towards the prophetic 
spirit a close and intimate connexion of the sort that 
vision has towards light, which possesses similar 
properties. For, although the eye has the power of 
vision, there is no function for it to perform without 
light a ; and so the prophetic power of the soul, like an 
eye, has need of something kindred to help to kindle 
it and stimulate it further. Hence many among 
earlier generations regarded Apollo and the Sun as 
one and the same god ; but those who understood and 
respected fair and wise analogy conjectured that as 
body is to soul, vision to intellect, and light to truth, 
so is the power of the sun to the nature of Apollo ; 
and they would make it appear that the sun is his 
offspring and progeny, being for ever born of him that 
is for ever. For the sun kindles and promotes and 
helps to keep in activity the power of vision in our 
perceptive senses, just as the god does for the power 
of prophecy in the soul. 

43. " Those, however, who had reached the con- 
clusion that the two are one and the same god very 
naturally dedicated the oracle to Apollo and Earth in 
common, thinking that the sun creates the disposition 
and temperament in the earth from which the prophet- 

q See 436 d, infra, and Plato, Republic, 508a-509 b. 

475 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

aflat 1 ras fiavriKas dva6vfjuda€L$. avrrjv fiev ovv 
rrjv yrjv coarrep 'HatoSos 1 ivioyv c^tXoorocfxov fSiXnov 
hiavoriOels 

Trdvrojv I809 do^aXes 

F 7TpOG€L7T€V, OVTOD KCLI rjjJi€LS KOI dl8lOV Kal d(f)6apT0V 

vofMi^ofJiev' rcov 8e irepl avrrjv 8vvdfi,€a)v ttjj p,kv 
iKXeiijjets rrrj Se yeyiazis dXXaxov Se fMeraardaecs 
Kal fJL€Tappocas aXAaxoOev eltcos iart avfifialveiv, 
Kal KVKXelv iv avrrj rag roiavras iv rep XP° va) 

TTOLVtI TToXXaKlS 7T€pLo8oVS, COS €GTL T€KfJLalp€(jdai 

rots <f>aivofi€vois . Xifivcov re yap yeyovaai Kal 
7TorajJicov, en Se rrXetoveg vafidrtov Oepficov ottov 
fiev €kX€ci/j€ls Kal (f>6opal Ttavrdiraaiv , ottov 8' olov 
434 aVoSpaacts Kal /axraSuaets* etra TrdXiv tJk€l 2 Sta 
Xpdvtov e7n(f>aiv6jji€va z rot? avroig tottols* fj ttXtjuLov 
vrroppiovra' Kal pberaXXcov Icrfiev 5 e^afxavpcooets 
yeyovevai Kaivds? to? rcov irepl rrjv 'Attiktjv dpyv- 
peicov Kal rrjs iv EujSota ^aA/ctTtSos > ££ rjs i8rj- 
fuovpyeiTO rd ijjvxprjXara rcov £i(f>cov, ws Alo~xvXos 

€Lp7]K€ 

Xafitov yap avrodrjKrov Ev/Holkov £L<f)OS' 

7j 8' iv VLapVGTLp 7T€Tpa 7 XP° V0 $ °V TTO^VS <*<£' OV 

7T€7Tavrai p,7]pvp,ara XLQtov /xaAa/ca /cat 8 V7)fJLard)8rj 

1 €K<f)€p€(r9ai Xy lander : iK<f>€p€T<u. 

2 i]K€i Emperius : ckci. 

8 €7TL(j>aLv6ix€va Turnebus : €m<l)atvofx€vrj or cVi^epo/Lteva. 
(Kronenberg would read in^aivofiev* eV tois avrots). 

4 tottols added by Xylander. 5 lafjtev Turnebus: to fikv, 

6 Kaivas] kcvcls in one ms. (B). 

7 1} . . . 7r€Tpa Turnebus : rrjs . . • ireipas. 

8 Kal added by Stegmann, and Savq/iaTcoSi) in one ms. sug- 
gests that Kal was once there. 

476 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 4,33-434, 

inspiring vapours are wafted forth. As Hesiod, a then, 
with a better understanding than some philosophers, 
spoke of the Earth itself as 

Of All the unshaken foundation, 

so we believe it to be everlasting and imperishable. 
But in the case of the powers associated with the earth 
it is reasonable that there should come to pass dis- 
appearances in one place and generation in another 
place, and elsewhere shifting of location and, from 
some other source, changes in current, 6 and that such 
cycles should complete many revolutions within it in 
the whole course of time, as we may judge from what 
happens before our eyes. For in the case of lakes and 
rivers, and even more frequently in hot springs, there 
have occurred disappearances and complete extinc- 
tion in some places, and in others a stealing away, as 
it were, and sinking under ground c ; later they came 
back, appearing after a time in the same places or 
flowing out from below somewhere near. We know 
also of the exhaustion of mines, some of which have 
given out recently, as for example the silver mines 
of Attica and the copper ore in Euboea from which 
the cold-forged sword-blades used to be wrought, as 
Aeschylus d has said, 

Euboean sword, self-sharpened, in his hand. 

And it is no long time since the rock in Euboea ceased 
to yield, among its other products, soft petrous 

a Theogony, 117. b Cf. 432 e, supra. 

e A not uncommon phenomenon in Greece ; cf. Moralia, 
557 e. 

d Cf. Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag. p. 107, Aeschylus, 
no. 356. The hardness and temper of cold-forged copper is 
well attested. 

477 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(434) avv€K(f>€povaa. /cat yap Vfitov itopaKevai rtvas 
oto/iat -)(€ipopiaKTpa /cat Siktvol /cat K€Kpv<f)dXovs 

B €K€L0€V OV Tl 1 TTVOL KOLLO/JLCVOVS 2 ' oAA' OCT* aV pVTTavOfi 

Xpajfiivcov, c^jSaAoVres" ets* <f>X6ya Xaparpd /cat Sta- 
<f>avfj Kopii^ovTaf vvv S' ^dVtarat /cat jioXis olov 
Ives rj rpix^S apatat Siarpexovaw iv tois fierdX- 
Xois- 

44. " Katrot 3 ttj&vtcov tovtlov oi irepl 'Apioro- 
reXrjv Srjfjuovpyov ev rfj yfj rr\v avadvfiiaaw oltto- 
<f>aivovGiv y fj /cat owe/cAetWty /cat GVjjLfjLedtcrraaOai 
/cat ovve^avdeZv ttolXlv tcl$ roiavras <f>vo€is avay- 
KaZov care, raura 4 8rj nepl fjLavrtKOJv 7TV€vpLarwv 
hcavo-qreov, cos ovk ixovTtov dioiov ovo* ayrjpwv ttjv 
ovva/juv aAA* v7TOK€ifji€V7]v /xera/JoAats*. /cat yap 
Ofjifipovs vrrepfiaXXovTas et/cds" cart KaraafievvvvaL 
C /cat Kepavvwv €fjL7T€o6vTtov hia^opeZoOai, /xaAtora 
Sc tt)? yyjs" u7roaaAou yLyvop,€vrj$ /cat Xafjbpavovorjs 
l^fiara /cat cruy^watv 5 eV jSaflet, fieOtaTaaOai tcx? 
avaOvyndaeis r\ TV<f>Xovadat, to napdrrav, ajonep 
ivravdd <j>aat Trapafieveiv ra 7T€pt rdi> fjueyav cret- 

OfJLOV, OS /Cat Tl^ 77oAtV OLV€Tp€lff€V . €^ 8* '0p^0/X6l'O) 

Xiyovoi Xoljjlov yevo\xivov rroXXovs uei/ dv6pco7rovs 
8ta<f)6aprji>cu to Se tov Tetpeatou x? y ] OT '^\? lov * K " 
At7retv TravTairacn /cat p<*XP L T °v ^^ apydv Sta- 
fi£v€LV /cat aVat>oW. £t Se /cat rots' 7T€pt KtAt/ct a j; 
o/xota crvfjufiefirjKe iradtZv, cbs aKovofiev, ovoels &V 
r/fiZv, co Arj/jLrJTpi€, gov (fipdaeie oa(j>€GTepovJ* 

1 ov rt Bemardakis : ourc. 

2 7ruf)t /cato/xcVow] 7T€ptKaiofi€vovs in nearly all mss. 

3 KaiToi Xylander : *al ot or icai. 

4 ravra TurnebuS : ravra. 

5 <*vyx<A<jw Reiske : cvyxvaiv, 

478 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 434 

filaments like yarn. I think some of you have seen 
towels, nets, and women's head-coverings from there, 
which cannot be burned by fire ; but if any become 
soiled by use, their owners throw them into a blazing 
fire and take them out bright and clear. To-day all 
this has disappeared, and there are scarcely any 
attenuated fibres or hairs, as it were, running through 
the mines. 

44. M And yet the school of Aristotle b would make 
it appear that exhalation is the author of all these 
changes that have taken place in the earth, and that 
things of this nature must of necessity follow with it 
in disappearing, changing their locality, and bursting 
forth once more in full vigour. Plainly the same sober 
opinion is to be held regarding the spirits that inspire 
prophecy ; the power that they possess is not ever- 
lasting and ageless, but is subject to changes. For 
excessive rains most likely extinguish them, and they 
probably are dispersed by thunderbolts, and especi- 
ally, when the earth is shaken beneath by an earth- 
quake and suffers subsidence and ruinous confusion 
in its depths, the exhalations shift their site or find 
completely blind outlets, as in this place they say 
that there are still traces of that great earthquake 
which overthrew the city. And in Orchomenos they 
relate that a pestilence raged and many persons died 
of it, and the oracle of Teiresias become altogether 
obsolescent and even to this day remains idle and 
mute. And if a like fate has befallen those in Cilicia, 
as we have been told, there is nobody, Demetrius, 
who could give us more certain information than you." 

a An interesting early notice of the use of asbestos. 
b Cf. Aristotle, Meteorologies i. 3 (340 b 29) ; Cicero, D* 
Divination*, i. 19 (38) ; ii. 57 (117). 

479 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(434) 45. Kat 6 ArjjA-qTpLos, " ovk otS' eycoye rd ye 1 
D vvv aTroSrjjjLU) yap, <bs tare, TrafXTToAvv rjSrj xpovov 

€TL 8' TJKjJLat,€V €{LOV TTdpOVTOS /Cat TO MoifjOV /Cat TO 
AfJL(f)iX6xOV fAOLVTZlOV. €^Ct> 8' el7T€LV TO) MoipOV 

7rapay€v6[JL€vos irpayp,a 8av/j,aoicoTaTov. 6 yap 
rjyefjiwv ttJ? KtAt/ctas 1 avTos pev dp,<f)l8o£os cov €tl 
TTpos tol Otia, St* do9eva,av dirioTias ot/xar raAAa 
yap fjv vPptaTTjs k/xi <f>avAo$' e^a>j> Se nepl avTov 
ETTiKovpeiovs tivcls St' atrtay KaXrjv 8rj /cat <f>vaio- 
Aoyov 2 evvfipi^ovTas , a)s aifTol Aeyovai, rot? tolov- 
rots*, €Lae7T€fjufj€v aTreAevOepov olov €is iroAepLajv 
KaTaoKOTTOv ivcrKtvdaas , €X ovra KaTecnfipayiopivrjv 
ScAtov, iv fj to epojTTjpJ rjv iyyeypapupevov, ovSevos 

E etSoros". ivvvx^vaas ovv 6 avQpaynos cbcr7T€p e9os 
efort Tip crr)Ka>, /cat KaTaKotpirjOels aTrrjyyziAe pe9* 
rjp,€pav evvirviov tolovtov. dvOpcoirov eoo^ev avTco 
/caAoV emaTavTa <f>6iyt;aodai tooovto ' /LteAava ' /cat 
TrAeov ovhkv aAA' evdvs ot^eaflat. Tovd* rjplv p,ev 
arroiTov i(f>dvr] /cat ttoAA^ diropiav 7rapiox €V ' o 8' 
TjyepLOjv GKelvos i^€7TAdyrj /cat TrpoaeKvvrjcrev, /cat 
ttjv Sc'Arof dvoi^as ineheiKwev ipa)Tr)p,a tolovto 
yeypapupidvov ' TTOTepov aot AevKov ?} fxeAava Ovcra) 
Tavpov; ' gjgt€ /cat tovs 'Em/co^petou? SiaTpanTJ' 

F i/at, KaKCivov avTov Tr\v t€ Ovotav emTeAzlv /cat 
oefSeaOac Sta TeAovs tov Motfjov." 

46. *0 puev ovv ArjfjLrjTpLos raur' elirajv iaccJoTrrj- 
a€V iyd> $e f$ovA6jjL€vos wanep tl K€<f)dAaiov hn- 

1 rd yc Wyttenbach : -raSc. 

2 Si* alrlav koXtjv hrj teal <f>voioX6yov F.C.B. ; rcjv kclXcov brj Ka 
(j>v<no\6ycov Bernardakis : rrjv koAtjv Stj kclI <f>vau>A6yov. 

a Frag. 395 Usener ; Diogenes Laertius, x. 135. 
480 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 434 

45. " I do not know/' said Demetrius, " the state 
of affairs there at present ; for as you all know, I have 
been out of the country for a long time now. But, 
when I was there, both the oracle of Mopsus and 
that of Amphilochus were still flourishing. I have a 
most amazing thing to tell as the result of my visit 
to the oracle of Mopsus. The ruler of Cilicia was 
himself still of two minds towards religious matters. 
This, I think, was because his scepticism lacked 
conviction, for in all else he was an arrogant and 
contemptible man. Since he kept about him certain 
Epicureans, who, because of their admirable nature- 
studies, forsooth, have an arrogant contempt, as they 
themselves aver, a for all such things as oracles, he 
sent in a freedman, like a spy into the enemy's 
territory, arranging that he should have a sealed 
tablet, on the inside of which was written the inquiry 
without anyone's knowing what it was. The man 
accordingly, as is the custom, passed the night in the 
sacred precinct and went to sleep, and in the morning 
reported a dream in this fashion : it seemed to him 
that a handsome man stood beside him who uttered 
just one word * Black ' and nothing more, and was 
gone immediately. The thing seemed passing strange 
to us, and raised much inquiry, but the ruler was 
astounded and fell down and worshipped ; then 
opening the tablet he showed written there the 
question : ' Shall I sacrifice to you a white bull or a 
black ? ' The result was that the Epicureans were 
put to confusion, and the ruler himself not only duly 
performed the sacrifice, but ever after revered 
Mopsus." 

46. When Demetrius had told this tale he lapsed 
into silence. But I, wishing to crown, as it were, 

481 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

delvai tu> Xoyco, 777009 rov t&lXnmov avdis dnefiXeifja 
Kal rov 'Afifuoviov ojjlov Kadrjfjievovs . eho^av ovv 
fioi fiovXeoOat ri SiaXexdrjvat Kal iraXw lirioypv. 

O 8' *AflJJL(x)VlOS, " €#€(. /JL€V, fi €(f>7], " Kal Q>lXl7T7TOS, 

to AajXTrpia, rrepl rtov elprj/jLtvayv €i7T€lv overai yap 

cb<J7T€p Ol 7ToXXol Kal ai>TOS Ol>X €T€pOV €LVai TOV 

435 ' A.7r6XXcova 0e6v aAAa rep rjXicp rov avrov. tj 8' i/xrj 
/ze/£a)v amopla Kal irspl p,€it,6va>v apri yap ovk 
oto y ottcos ru> Xoyco 7rap€x<*>ptft7ap,€V €K tlov Betov 
ty]v p,avTLK7)v is haipLOvas arexytbs dno8i07TOpi7TOV- 
\xevoi. vvvl Se p,oi hoKovpuev avroits tt&Xlv €Keivovs 
££lo0€lv Kal direXavvetv evOivhe rod xpyvTyptov Ka l 
rod rpLTToSos, ft? 7TV€vp,ara Kal ar/Jiovs Kal dva- 
0vp,ida€is rrjv rrjs pLavriKijs Q>pX*} v poXXov Se rrjv 
ova Lav avrrjv Kal ttjv ovvap,w avaXvovres . at ydp 
elprjfxevai Kpdotis Kal Bcp^orrjres avrai Kal uropLto- 
trees roacp 1 p,aXXov amdyovai rrjv ho£av dno rtov 
B detov Kal riva tolovtov vnofiaXXovai 2 rrjs alrlas 
irnXoyiupiov , olep trotyl rov KvKXcorra xpa>p,€vov 
EiVpL7rl8r]s, 

rj yrj 8' dvdyKrj, kolv OeXrj Kav jjLrj 0eXr), 
riKTOvoa iTolav Ta/xd rciaivei fiord. 

TrXrjV €K€LVOS p<€V OV <f>7)OL 0VeiV TOLS 0eols dXX 

eavrto Kal ' rfj pbeyiaTr] yaarpl Sai/xoVcoi// rjpets Se 
Kal Bvofxev Kal 7Tpoa€vxopi€0a ri ira06vres z enl rots 
XprjcrrrjpLois , €t Svvapnv pev ev eavrais pavTiKrjv at 
i[jvxolI KopLL^ovow, rj 8e Kivovoa ravrrjv aepos tls 
iuri Kpaais rj nvevparos ; ai Se rtov lepeltov* Kara- 

1 togco F.C.B. : oao). 

2 \ynofiaX\ovai\ cVi^aAAovcu in most MSS. 

3 naOovTes] fj,a96vr€S in most MSS. 

4 Upelcov] in one ms. only (E) ; UptBcov in the others. 

482 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 434-435 

the discussion, glanced again towards Philip and 
Ammonius who were sitting side by side. They 
seemed to me to be desirous of saying something to 
us, and again I checked myself. Then Ammonius 
said, " Philip also has some remarks to make, 
Lamprias, about what has been said ; for he himself 
thinks, as most people do, that Apollo is not a different 
god, but is the same as the sun. a But my difficulty is 
greater and concerns greater matters. I do not know 
how it happened, but a little time ago we yielded to 
logic in wresting the prophetic art from the gods and 
transferring it merely to the demigods. But now it 
seems to me that we are thrusting out these very 
demigods, in their turn, and driving them away from 
the oracle and the tripod here, when we resolve the 
origin of prophecy, or rather its very being and power, 
into winds and vapours and exhalations. For these 
temperings and heatings and hardenings that have 
been spoken of serve only the more to withdraw 
repute from the gods and suggest in regard to the 
final cause some such conclusion as Euripides b makes 
his Cyclops employ : 

The earth perforce, whether it will or no, 
Brings forth the grass to fat my grazing flocks. 

But there is one difference : he says that he does not 
offer them in sacrifice to the gods, but to himself and 
to his ' belly, greatest of divinities/ whereas we offer 
both sacrifices and prayers as the price for our oracles. 
What possesses us to do so, if our souls carry within 
themselves the prophetic power, and it is some 
particular state of the air or its currents which stirs 
this to activity ? And what is the significance of the 

Cf. 376 b, supra, and 1130 a, for example. 
b Euripides, Cyclops, 332-333. 

483 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(435) wrreioeis 1 rl /3ov\ovtcu, /cat to prj depuoTeveiv, edv* 

Q p/t] TO tepeloV 6X0V €% CLKptOV G(f)VpCOV VTTOTpOpOV 

ylvrjrai /cat KpaSavdfj KaTaoTrevoopuevov ; ov yap 
dpKel to otaoeioai ttjv KecfraXyv wGTTep iv rat? 
aAAats* Ovolais, dXXd rraoi Set tols pepeai tov 
adXov opov /cat tov rraXpov eyyeveoOaL /xera ifjocfrov 
TpofJLwSovs* eav yap prj tovto yevrjTaL, to pavTelov 
ov (f>aat xpiqpaTL^Lv ouS' elodyovoL ttjv Tlvdiav. 
/catrot 6ea> pev rj oaipovt? aWlav tt]v TrXeioTriv aVa- 
ridevTas €lkos ioTi raOra 7TOLelv koI vopi^eLV ojs 
8e ov XeyeLs, ovk et/coV rj yap dvaOvpiaoLs , dv 

T€ TTTOTJTat* TO Up£LOV (XV T€ /XT], TTapOVOa 7TOtr)CT€t b 

D tov evOovoLaapov /cat SiadrjcreL tt\v *\ivyy)v opolojs ov 
Trjs YlvOlas povov, aAAa /caV tov TvypvTos diffrjTat 
aco/xaros'. o9ev ewqOls eoTL to pad yvvaiKt rrpos ra 
pbavT€ta xpy (J @ af '> Ka i t&vt"[) TrapeyeLV rrpdypaTa 
<f>v\aTTovTag dyvrjv Sta fSLov /cat Kadapevovaav . o 
yap Kooryra? eKelvos, ov AeA^ot Xeyovoi TrpcoTOV 

€LL7Teo6vTa TTJS TT€pl TOV TOTTOV OVVapeOJS aioOrfGlV 

Trapaoyziv , ovoev olpai oiecfrepe tcov dXXa>v aliroXajv 
/cat iroipevwv, el ye 87) tovto prj pvOos Iotl prj8e 
TrXdapua Kevov, d>s eyooy rjyovpaL. /cat Xoyi^opevos 
7T7jXtKa>v dyaOcov tovtl to pavTelov acTtov yeyove 
tols "EXXrjoiv k'v T€ TToXepots /cat /crtaeat rroXeojv ev 
E T€ XoipoZs /cat KapTTcov a^optat?, Seivov rjyovpaL prj 
Bed) /cat iTpovoia ttjv evpeoiv avrov /cat dpxrjv dXXd 
rw /caret TV)(rjv Kal avrofxaTOJS dvarideodaL. npos 

1 KaTao7r€i(jeis Reiske : KaraoTaoeis. 

2 iav Stegmann : cc. 

3 deio fi€v rj Baifiovt Turnebus : 6eov [xtv rj Baifiovos* 

4 TTToijrai Xylander, also Meziriacus: 7roirjrai. 

s 7Ton](7€i in one ms. only (J); rroieZ or Ttoifj in the others. 

484 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 435 

libations poured over the victims and the refusal to 
give responses unless the whole victim from the hoof- 
joints up is seized with a trembling and quivering, as 
the libation is poured over it ? Shaking the head is 
not enough, as in other sacrifices, but the tossing and 
quivering must extend to all parts of the animal alike 
accompanied by a tremulous sound ; and unless this 
takes place they say that the oracle is not functioning, 
and do not even bring in the prophetic priestess. 
Yet it is only on the assumption that they ascribe the 
cause almost entirely to a god or a demigod that it is 
reasonable for them to act and to believe thus ; but 
on the basis of what you say it is not reasonable. For 
the presence of the exhalation, whether the victim be 
excited or not, will produce the inspiration and will 
dispose the soul auspiciously, not only the soul of 
the priestess, but that of any ordinary person with 
whom it may come into contact. Wherefore it is 
silly to employ one woman alone for the purpose 
of the oracles and to give her trouble by watching 
her to keep her pure and chaste all her life. As a 
matter of fact, this Coretas, who the people of 
Delphi say was the first, because he fell in, to 
supply any means of knowing about the power 
with which the place is endowed, was not, I think, 
any different from the rest of the goatherds and 
shepherds, if so be that this is not a fable or a 
fabrication as I, for one, think it is. When I take 
into account the number of benefactions to the 
Greeks for which this oracle has been responsible, 
both in wars and in the founding of cities, in cases of 
pestilence and failure of crops, I think it is a dreadful 
thing to assign its discovery and origin, not to God and 
Providence, but to chance and accident. But regard- 

485 



PLUTARCH'S M0RAL1A 

8-37 ravr 9 " etne, " rov AafAnpiav 1 fiovXopai 01a- 
XexOrjiat' rrepipLeveis 1 oe; " 

" Yldvv p,ev ovv," 6 <t>i\nT7Tos e<f>rj, " Kal rrdvres 
ovroc iravras yap fjfxas 6 Aoyo? K€kIv7)K€" 

47. l\.ayto7Tpos avrov, epe oe, evnov, ov kckc- 

VT)K€V, CO <J>lAl7T7r€, {JLOVOV dXXd Kal GVyKeyVKeV, €L 

ev TooovTois Kal rrjXiKovrois ovolv vjjllv Sokw rrap* 
r]XiKiav rep mOavw rod Xoyov KaXXajm^opuevos av- 
aipeiv n Kal Kivelv rwv dXrjOtos Kal oolojs 3 rrepl rod 
deiov vevopiopevojv, a/rroXoyiqGo pat 8e pidprvpa Kal 
F ovvoikov 6fj,ov YiXdrojva rrapaorrjodpevos . 4 eKelvos 
yap o 5 dvfjp * Ava^ayopav pev epepifsaro rov iraXaiov, 
on rats <f>voiKals dyav ivSeSepevos* alrtats Kal ro 
/car' avdyKr\v tols rwv oojpdrojv dnoreXovpLevov 
TrdQeoi puenchv del Kal Slwkojv, ro ofi eveKa Kal vfi 
ov, fieXriovas air tag ovoas Kal apyds, d(f)fJKev avrog 
oe 7Tpcbros T) pdXiora rcov (f)iXooo<f)a)v dp<j>orepas 
eTre^rjXOe, rep pev Oecp rrjv ap\r]v arrohihovs rdv 
Kara Xoyov exovrojv, ovk a7Toarepa>v he rr)v vXrjv 
436 rGyv dvayKaloJv 77009 to yiyvop,evov alncov, aXXd 
ovvoptbv, on rijhe 7777 Kal ro rrav alodrjrov Sta- 
KeKoop,rjp,evov ov KaOapov ovh' apuyes eonv, dXXd 
rrjs vXrjs avp,7rXeKop,evr)s np Xoycp Xapufidvei rrjv 
yeveoiv. opa he rrpcorov errl rojv rexvircbv olov 
evOvs r) Trepifio-qros evravda rov Kparrjpos ehpa Kal 

1 rov Aa^nrpiav Wyttenbach : c5 Aafiirpta. 

2 ircpifjLtveTs Madvig; the future seems necessary, and so 
Prickard translates: ncptfieveis (in oneMS.) or 7r€pifi€vois; cf. 
438 c, infra, 

3 ooiois van Herwerden : delcos. 

4 7TapaoT7)odn€vos] -rrapicTdfxevos in all mss. but one (D). 
6 6 omitted in all mss. but one (G). 

6 ivBcBcfifvos] evhehvfievos in all mss. but one. 

486 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 435 436 

ing these matters," he added, " I wish that Lamprias 
would say something to us. Will you wait ? " 

M Certainly I will," said Philip, " and so will all 
who are here. For what you have said has set us all 
thinking." 

47. Then I, addressing myself to him, said, " Not 
only has it set me thinking, Philip, but it has filled 
me with confusion, if, in the presence of so many men 
such as you all are, I seem, in contradiction to my 
years, to give myself airs over the plausibility of my 
argument and to upset or disturb any of the beliefs 
regarding the Deity which have been conceived in 
truth and in piety. I shall defend myself by citing 
Plato as my witness and advocate in one. That 
philosopher ° found fault with Anaxagoras, the one of 
early times, because he was too much wrapped up in 
the physical causes and was always following up and 
pursuing the law of necessity as it was worked out in 
the behaviour of bodies, and left out of account the 
purpose and the agent, which are better causes and 
origins. Plato himself was the first of the philosophers, 
or the one most prominently engaged in prosecuting 
investigations of both sorts, to assign to God, on the 
one hand, the origin of all things that are in keeping 
with reason, and on the other hand, not to divest 
matter of the causes necessary for whatever comes 
into being, but to realize that the perceptible uni- 
verse, even when arranged in some such orderly way 
as this, is not pure and unalloyed, but that it takes 
its origin from matter when matter comes into con- 
junction with reason. Observe first how it is with the 
artists. Take as our first example the far-famed 
stand and base for the mixing-bowl here which 

Plato, Phaedo, 97 b-c. 

487 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(436) fidcns, 1 fy 'UpoSoros V7TOKprjrr)pi8iov 2 d)v6p,aaev, 

GLLTiaS yikv €<7X € TO,? 3 vAl K OLS , TTVp Kill at8rjp0V KOLL 

fxdXa^tv Stct TTvpos Kal St' 4 vSaros pacfrrjv, cov dvev 
yeveodai to epyov ovhefiia jut/H^avr}* rr)v 8e /cupta>- 
repav o.pyr\v /cat ravra Kivovcrav Kal Sia rovrcov 
B ivepyovaav rj reyyr) Kal 6 Aoyos rco epyco irapeaxe* 
/cat jjltjv rcov ye fjupLrjiidrajv rovrcov Kal elod)Aa>v o 
Trotrjrrjs Kal SrjfjLiovpyds eTnyeypairrai, 

ypdi/je UoAvyvojros , Qdoios yevos, ' * AyAaocpoovros 
vlos 7T€p9ojJi€VaV 'IAt'ov d/cpoVoAty, 

cos* oparat ypdifsas* avev 8e cpappbaKajv avvrpt^evrojv 
/cat ovficpdapevrojv dAA^Aots' ov8ev r\v olov re rotav- 
rrjv oiddeaiv Aafielv Kal oi/jlv. dp* ovv 6 jSouAo- 
fxevos airreoOai rrjg vAiktjs apx^s, 'QryrGyv Se /cat 
SiSdaKOJV rd TraOr^fxara Kal ras [JLerafioAds , as a>XP a 
C pLLxOeToa ctlvo)7tIs tercet /cat jxeAavL fJurjAtds, d<f>aipel- 
rat rrjv rod T€)(yt,Tov s oot;av ; 6 he rod enhrjpov rrjv 
orojicocnv eTre^ccov Kal rrjv fxaAa^LV, on rco p,ev irvpl 
XaAaadels evolScocn 6 Kal vireiKei rots eAavvovai Kal 
TrAdrrovotv , 7 efureacov 8e TrdAcv els vocop aKpaicj>ves 
Kal rij ipvxpoTTjrt, Std rrjv vtto irvpos eyyevofJLevrjv 
dnaAorrjra Kal p,av6rrjra TTiArjOels Kal KarairvKvco- 

1 pdais] <f>d(jis or <f>vois in all mss. but one (J). 

2 v7TOKp7)T7)pthiov Herodotus : emKpr)Tr)pihiov. 

3 eo-^e ras Madvig : exovras or ^xovtos. 

4 hi added by Reiske. 

5 t€xvitov] mhrjpov in ail mss. but one (E). 

6 €vhiha)OL Turnebus : emSiSwcrt. 

7 -nXdrrovoiv] nhrJTTOVOiv in some MSS. 

° The stand, dedicated by Alyattes (king of Lydia from 
617 to 560 b.c), was of wrought iron and welded together, 

488 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 436 

Herodotus a has styled the ' bowl-holder ' ; it eame to 
have as its material causes fire and steel and softening 
by means of fire and tempering by means of water, 
without which there is no expedient by which this 
work could be produced ; but art and reason supplied 
for it the more dominant principle which set all these 
in motion and operated through them. And, indeed, 
the author and creator of these likenesses and por- 
traits here stands recorded in the inscription h : 

Thasian by race and descent, Aglaophon's son Polygnotus 
Painted the taking of Troy, showing her citadel's sack ; 

so that it may be seen that he painted them. But 
without pigments ground together, losing their own 
colour in the process, nothing could achieve such a 
composition and sight. Does he, then, who is desirous 
of getting hold of the material cause, as he investi- 
gates and explains the behaviour of the red earth of 
Sinope and the changes to which it is subject when 
mixed with yellow ochre, or of the light-coloured 
earth of Melos when mixed with lamp-black, take 
away the repute of the artist ? And he that goes into 
the details of the hardening and the softening of 
steel, how it is relaxed by the fire, and becomes pliant 
and yielding for those who forge and fashion it, and 
then, plunged anew into clear water, is contracted 
and compacted by the coldness because of the soft- 
ness and looseness of texture previously engendered 

not riveted. Cf. Herodotus, i. 25; Pausanias, x. 16. 1. Of 
interest also in this connexion is the dedication recorded in 
the Sigeum inscription, C.T.G. i. 8, or Roberts, Introduction 
to Greek Epigraphy , no. 42 (p. 78). 

6 Bergk, Poet. Lyr. Graec. iii. p. 502, Simonides, no. 
160; or Edmonds, Lyra Graeca, ii. p. 399 (L.C.L.). Cf. 
also Pausanias, x. 25. 1. 

489 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(436) Bets, evrovtav tc^et /cat tttj^lv, tjv "Optrjpos ' aihtfpov 
Kpdros * €ltt€v, fjTTov tl rep re^vtrrj rrjpel rrjv air lav 
rrjs rov epyov yzveoeajs; iyoj ptkv ovk otoptat- Kal 
yap tcjjv larpuKcov Svvdpteajv evtot ras rrotorryras 
iXeyxovcrt, rrjv 8' larptK7]v ovk avatpovotv . wcnrep 
dpteXet Kal 1 UXara>v opdv ptev rjptas rfj napd 2 rtov 
I) 6<f)daXpta>v z avyfj ovyKepavvvptevrj irpos ro rov rjXtov 
<f>a>s, aKovecv Se rfj TrXrjyfj rov aipos drrocfratvo- 
fievos, ovk avrjpei ro Kara Xoyov Kal rrpovotav 
opariKovs Kal aKovoriKOVS yeyovevat. 

48. " KadoXov yap, a>s <f>7]p<i>, 8vo 7rdo7]s yeveoews 
air Las i)(ovG*qs, oi ptev o<j>6hpa rraXaiol OeoXoyot 
Kal 7Totr]ral rfj Kpetrrovt ptovr) rov vovv rrpooiytiv 
€iXovro, rovro 8tj ro KOtvov €7Tt<f>d€yyopt€vot 7ra(7t 
npayptaat 

Zeus' dpXV' Zeus' pteaoa, Atos 8* £k rrdvra 
neXovrar 

rats' 8' aVay/catats 1 /cat <f>votKats ovk ert rrpoor\eoav 
air tats, oi Se vewrepot rovrwv Kal (f>vatKol rrpoo- 
E ayoptvoptevoi rovvavrtov e'/cetVots" rrjs KaXrjg Kal 
Oetas aTTorrXavrjOevrts dpx?js, eV oojptaot Kal rrddeoi 
oojjxdrojv rrXr^yats re Kal pterafioXats /cat Kpdoeoi 
rldevrat ro oTjfnrav. o6ev dpt<f>orepots 6 Xoyos 
ivSerjs rov npoorjKovros eoTt, rots ptev ro St* ov Kal 

1 Kal added in the Aldine ed. 

2 irapa] 7T€pl in almost all mss. 

3 tcjv o^daXfiwv] rov 6(/>daX^i6v most M33. 

490 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 436 

by the fire, and acquires a tenseness and firmness 
which Homer a has called ' the brawn of steel ' — does 
such an investigator any the less preserve intact for 
the artist the credit for the creation of the work ? I 
think not. In fact there are some who question the 
properties of medicinal agents, but they do not do 
away with medical science. And thus when Plato b 
declared that we see by the commingling of the 
irradiation from our eyes with the light of the sun, 
and that we hear by the vibration of the air, he 
certainly did not mean by this to abrogate the 
fundamental fact that it is according to the design of 
Reason and Providence that we have been endowed 
with sight and hearing. 

48. " To sum up, then : while every form of creation 
has, as I say, two causes, the very earliest theological 
writers and poets chose to heed only the superior one, 
uttering over all things that come to pass this common 
generality : 

Zeus the beginning, Zeus in the midst, and from Zeus comes 
all being c ; 

but as yet they made no approach towards the com- 
pelling and natural causes. On the other hand the 
younger generation which followed them, and are 
called physicists or natural philosophers, reverse the 
procedure of the older school in their aberration from 
the beautiful and divine origin, and ascribe everything 
to bodies and their behaviour, to clashes, trans- 
mutations, and combinations. Hence the reasoning 
of both parties is deficient in what is essential to it, 

Od. ix. 393. 

6 Cf. 433 d, supra, and Plato, Republic* 507 c-d, and 508 d. 
e Orphic Frag. vi. 10 (21a, 2) ; cf. Mullach, Frag. Phil. 
Qraec. i. p. 109. 11. 

491 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

i>9 ov, rots oe to e£ ojv /cat OL (x)v ayvoovoiv 7] 
TTapaXeiTTOvoLV. 6 8e TrptoTos iKcfxivtos difidixevos 
afx<f)oiv /cat ra> /cara Xoyov ttolovvtl /cat klvovvtl 
irpooXafiojv aVay/catoj? to 1 viroKtlpLevov /cat rrda^ov, 
arroXverai /cat virep r)pLU)v iraaav vnoi/jtav /cat 
hiafSoXrjv. oi) yap dOeov TroLovpLev ouS' aAoyov tt)v 
p pLavTLKrjv, vXrjv puev avrfj rrjv tfw^v rod dvdpcurrov 
to 8 ivOovaiaoTLKov 7TV€Vfia /cat tt)v avaOvpbiacnv 
olov opyavov r) irXrJKTpov aTroStScWes" irpuiTOV puev 
ydp rj yevvTjoaoa yrj ra? dvadvpudoets 6 T€ 2 Traoav 
eVStSou? Kpdaeojs tjj yfj /cat pL€TaftoXrjs $vvap,a> 
rjXios vopuu) 7raT€pojv deog cutlv rjpuv eVetra Sat- 
p,ovas eTTLOTdras /cat TrepirroXovs /cat <£uAa/cas" otof 
appiovias ttjs Kpdoeojs TavTrjs ra p,kv dvtevTas iv 
437 ^atpa) ra 8' eVtTetVo^Tas /cat to ayay €kgt(xtik6v 

(LVTrjS /Cat TdpOLKTlKOV d<j>aipOVVTCLS TO 8€ KLVrjTLKOl' 

dXviTOJS /cat ajSAajSoj? Tots' xpco/xcVot? /caTauety- 
viWas a7roA6t7ro^T€9, ouScy aAoyoi> rroielv ovK d- 
StWTOf 86£op,ev. (49.) ouSe y€ npodvopLevoi /cat 
KOLTaoTecfrovTes lepela /cat KaTaoTrevSovTes evavTia 
Tip Xoycp TOVTCp TTpaTTopLtP. ol yap Upeis /cat 
ocrtot 3 #Jew <£aat to Upetov /cat KaTaoirivheiv /cat 
tt^ kwtjoiv avTov /cat TOf Tpopiov* drroOeajpetv €T€- 

pOV TLVOS TOVTO arjp,€LOV* Tj TOV 0€pLLOT€V€lV TOV 0€OV 

\ap,f$dvovT€s ; Set yap to Ovoipiov to> t€ aoj/xaTt /cat 

B Try $vxfj Kadapov etvau /cat dcnves /cat d8cd(f)9opov. 

pirjvvTpa 6 pikv ovv tcov 7T€pl to aa>/za /caTtSetv 

ou ttglvv ;£aA€7r6V eart* T^y 8e ^VX 7 ) 1 ' 8o/ctju,d£otta , t, 

1 d^ay/caiw? to] to dvay/catco? Pohlenz. 

2 oTeEmperius: 6 Se. 3 6'otoi Turnebus : oaoi. 

4 rpofiov Turnebus : Tporrov. 

5 tovto o7]ij.€lov Emperius : tov9* rjiiiv. 

6 iiyvvTpa Turnebus : /uerpa. 

492 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 436-437 

since the one ignores or omits the intermediary and the 
agent, the other the source and the means. He who 
was the first to comprehend clearly both these points 
and to take, as a necessary adjunct to the agent that 
creates and actuates, the underlying matter, which 
is acted upon, clears us also of all suspicion of wilful 
misstatement. The fact is that we do not make the 
prophetic art godless or irrational when we assign to 
it as its material the soul of a human being, and 
assign the spirit of inspiration and the exhalation as an 
instrument or plectrum for playing on it. For, in the 
first place, the earth, which generates the exhalation, 
and the sun, which endows the earth with all its power 
of tempering and transmutation, are, by the usage 
of our fathers, gods for us. Secondly, if we leave 
demigods as overseers, watchmen, and guardians of 
this tempered constitution, as if it were a kind of 
harmony, slackening here and tightening there on 
occasion, taking from it its too distracting and 
disturbing elements and incorporating those that are 
painless and harmless to the users, we shall not 
appear to be doing anything irrational or impossible. 
(49.) Nor again, in offering the preliminary sacrifice 
to learn the god's will and in putting garlands on 
victims or pouring libations over them, are we doing 
anything to contradict this reasoning. For when the 
priests and holy men say that they are offering 
sacrifice and pouring the libation over the victim and 
observing its movements and its trembling, of what 
else do they take this to be a sign save that the god 
is in his holy temple ? For what is to be offered in 
sacrifice must, both in body and in soul, be pure, 
unblemished, and unmarred. Indications regarding 
the body it is not at all difficult to perceive, but they 

493 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(437) tols fJL€v ravpois aX^cra rols he Kairpois epefiivdovs 
7rapaTL0€VT€S' to yap firj yevodpievov vyiaiveiv ovk 
olovrai. ttjv S' atya SteXeyxetv to ipvxpov vScop' 
ov yap elvai fox^S Kara tf>vaiv exovorjs to irpos ttjv 
KaTaoireioiv dirades Kal aKivrjTov. eycb Se, kolv fj 

fldficUOV OTC GrjfJL€LOV £oTl TOV 0€IXLOT€V€LV TO 0€lOa~ 

aOai Kal tov pur) depaoTevetv TovvavTiov , ov% optb tl 
ovpLpalvei 8vox € P*s ^^ avTov tois elprjjiivois . naaa 
C yap ovvapiis o 1 7re<j)VKe ovv Katpco (SIXtiov r) x € ?pov 
arrohihcjooL' tov Se Kaipov oia<j>evyovTos r)pL&s t 
orjp,eia StSoVcu tov deov elKos eoTiv. 

50. " OiojjLai p,ev ovv pafjTe ttjv ava6vp,Laoiv 
d)oavTa>$ %X €IV ^ €L ^ L ^ ftavTos, dveoeis re 2 Tivas 
lcrx €LV Kai trdXiv CT^oSpoT^ras" to Se TeKpLrjpltp 
^ocDjtxat, fjidpTvpas e^to 3 Kal £evovs ttoXXovs Kal 
tovs depanevovTas to tepov diravTas. 6 ydp oIkos, 

€V cS TOVS XP^f 1 ^ ^ T< ? ^ e< ? KQ>QiX>OVOW $ OVT€ 
TToWaKlS OUT€ T€Tay/X€VCOS dAA' OJS €TVX € hid XP°~ 

vmv evoyolas dvanlpTrXaTai Kal 7rvevp,aTOs> olas av 
tol rjSiOTa Kal TroXvTeXeoTaTa tcov pLvpajv a7TO(f)opas 
coarrep £k rrrjyjjs tov dovTOV 7rpoofidXXovTos' e£- 
avdeiv ydp eiKOS vito OeppLOTrjTos rj twos dXXris 
D eyyiyvojxlvqs Svvdpietos. el Se tovto pur) Sokii 
mOavov, dXXd ye ttjv YlvOiav avTrjv ev rrdSeoi Kal 
hca^opats aAAor' aAAai? eKetvo to fiepog Trjs iftvxfjs 
taX eiv > 4* TrXrjoid^ei to Trvevp,a, Kal pur) p,lav del 

1 o] a> in nearly all mss. 

* re F.C.B. : 8c (Kronenberg would read /x^Sc for /utJtc in the 
line above). 
3 €x<jo] ex^t or €x^v in most mss, 

494 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 437 

test the soul by setting meal before the bulls and peas 
before the boars ; and the animal that does not eat of 
this they think is not of sound mind. In the case of 
the goat, they say, cold water gives positive proof ; 
for indifference and immobility against being suddenly 
wet is not characteristic of a soul in a normal state. 
But for my part, even if it be firmly established that 
the trembling is a sign of the god's being in his holy 
temple and the contrary a sign of his not being there, 
I cannot see what difficulty in my statements results 
therefrom. For every faculty duly performs its 
natural functions better or worse concurrently with 
some particular time ; and if that time escapes our 
ken, it is only reasonable that the god should give 
signs of it. 

50. "I think, then, that the exhalation is not in 
the same state all the time, but that it has recurrent 
periods of weakness and strength. Of the proof on 
which I depend I have as witnesses many foreigners 
and all the officials and servants at the shrine. It is a 
fact that the room in which they seat those who would 
consult the god is filled, not frequently or with any 
regularity, but as it may chance from time to time, 
with a delightful fragrance coming on a current of air 
which bears it towards the worshippers, as if its source 
were in the holy of holies ; and it is like the odour 
which the most exquisite and costly perfumes send 
forth. It is likely that this efflorescence is produced 
by warmth or some other force engendered there. 
If this does not seem credible, you will at least all 
agree that the prophetic priestess herself is subjected 
to differing influences, varying from time to time, 
which affect that part of her soul with which the spirit 
of inspiration comes into association, and that she 

495 



PLUTARCH'S MORALIA 

(437) Kpdatv cuonep appioviav dpLerdfioXov iv rravrl Kaipa) 
8ia<f>vAaTT€LV , opLoXoyrjoere. rroXAal p,€v yap 
alcr0o[JL€vr}s irXtioves 8' dSijXoi to re ocjjia Kara- 
XafjufUdvovcri Kal rrjv ifru^v viroppeovcn Sucr^epetat 
Kan, Ktvqaetg' cSi/ dvampLTTXapiivriv ovk dfietvov €K€L 
jSaSi'^eiy ovSe irapiyeiv eavrrjv ra> Oeco fxr) iravrd- 
iraoi Kadapdv ovgqlv coarrep opyavov ifjrjpTvpLevov 
Kal evrjxes, dAA' ifJLiraOij Kal aKardorarov . ovrt 
E yap 6 oivos (boavrojs del rov {ledvarLKov ovd' 6 
ai)Ao? rov ivdovotaariKov d/xoicos" oiariQrjoiv, dAAa 
vvv fiev fjrrov ol avrol vvv 8e fiaXXov eK^aK^evovrai 
Kal Trapoivovai, rrjs Kpdotcos €V avrols irepas yevo- 
jjLevrjs. fxaXicrra Be to <j>avTaoTiKov eoiKe rrjs fax^s 
vno rov crwjjLaros aXXotovfievov Kpareladai Kal avfi- 
fierafidAAeiv, ojs 8rjX6v Iotiv drro rcov oveiptov ttotz 
fji€v yap iv rroXXals yiyvopueOa koX navroSaTrais 
evvTTvioyv oifjecri, irore S' av irdXiv iraaa yiyverai 
yaXrjVT] Kal rjovxia tcjv toiovtcov. Kal KXewva 
F fxev tofjLev avrol rov Ik AauAia? tovtov ev noXXols 
ereaw oh fiefliwKe <f)doKovra pLrjoev loetv itwttot 
gvvttviov rtov 8e 7rp€of$VT€po)v rauro tovto X4y erat 
7T€pl QpaavpL-qSovs rov 'H/oaie'co?. alria S* rj 
Kpaois rov aayfiaros, coairep av rrdXtv rj tcov 
fjueXayxoXiKcbv woXvoveipos Kal iroXv^avraoros , fj 1 
Kal 8ok€l to evdvovetpov avrois V7rdp)(€iv €7r' dAAa 

1 i} Emperius : el. 

496 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 437 

does not always keep one temperament, like a perfect 
concord, unchanged on every occasion. For many 
annoyances and disturbances of which she is conscious, 
and many more unperceived, lay hold upon her body 
and filter into her soul ; and whenever she is replete 
with these, it is better that she should not go there 
and surrender herself to the control of the god, when 
she is not completely unhampered (as if she were a 
musical instrument, well strung and well tuned), but 
is in a state of emotion and instability. Wine, for 
example, does not always produce the same state of 
intoxication in the toper, a nor the music of the flute 
the same state of exaltation in the votary ; but the 
same persons are roused now to less, now to more, 
extravagant conduct by the Bacchic revels or stimu- 
lated by the wine, as the temperament within them 
becomes different. But especially does the imagina- 
tive faculty of the soul seem to be swayed by the 
alterations in the body, and to change as the body 
changes, a fact which is clearly shown in dreams ; for 
at one time we find ourselves beset in our dreams by 
a multitude of visions of all sorts, and at another time 
again there comes a complete calmness and rest free 
from all such fancies. We ourselves know of Cleon 
here from Daulia and that he asserts that in all the 
many years he has lived he has never had a dream ; 
and among the older men the same thing is told of 
Thrasymedes of Heraea. The cause of this is the 
temperament of the body, just as that of persons who 
are prone to melancholy, at the other extreme, is 
subject to a multitude of dreams and visions ; where- 
fore they have the repute of possessing the faculty of 
dreaming straight ; for since they turn now to this 

° Cf. 406 b, supra. 

497 



PLUTARCH'S MORA LI A 

438 yap dXXore rto (j>avraariKco Tpeirofievoi, Kaddnep 
oi iroXXd fidXAovres, Irrirvyyavovoi rroAAaKLS. 

51. " "Ot<iv ovv dpfxoarcog exj} rrpos rrjv tov 
7TV€Vjxaros oiairep <f>apfJLaKov Kpaow rj <f>avTaoTLK7) 
/cat jJLavTLKrj Svvapus, iv rots 7Tpo(f>r)T€vovoi,v dvdyK-q 
ytyveaOat tov ivOovaiarrjjLov drav hk firj ovtojs, /xt) 
yiyveaOai, rj yiyveod ai 7rapd(f)opov /cat ovk aKepatov 
/cat rapa/crt/coV, 1 ojcnrep iop,€v irrl ttjs evayxos 
dTrodavovcrrjg Tlvdias. 2 deoTrponajv yap diro ^evrjs 
TTapayevofievajv , Acycrat Tas irpojTas KaTacnreicreis 
okiv7)tov v7TOfJi€Lvai /cat diraOes to UpeZov trnep- 
fiaAAopLevajv he <£tAortjLtta tqjv lepeojv /cat Trpocr- 
B AiTrapovvTOjv , pLoAis viropifipov yevopievov /cat /cara- 
KAvaOev evhovvai? ri ovv awe fir] irepl ttjv YlvOiav 4 ; 
Karif&y) \xev els to \xavTelov a>s <f>aaw d/coucra /cat 
dTTpoOvpios , evOvs he irepl 6 Tas TTpujTas diroKpiaeis 
f\v KaTa<f>avr)s ttj TpayyTyyri ttjs cfrojvfjs ovk dva- 
(frepovaa hiK'qv vedis e7TeiyopLevrjs, dAdAou* /cat 
KaKov TivevpiaTOS ovora TrArjprjs' TeAos he TravTairaaiv 
€KTapaxOetaa /cat /xcrd Kpavyrjs da-qpiov /cat 7 <f>o/3e- 

p&S (f>€pOfJL€V7] 77/009 TTjV e£ohoV €ppuft€V iaVTTjV, 

<x>gt€ <f>vyetv firj jjlovov tovs OeoTTporrovs dAXa /cat 
tov 7Tpo<f)rJTr)V NiKavopov /cat tovs irapovras rcov 
oolojv. dveiAovTo fievTOL /xerd [JLLKpov avTTjv eta- 
C eAQovTes ejJi(f)pova /cat hiefilojoev dAiyas rj fie pas. 

Tovtojv eveKa /cat avvovoias dyvov to aco/xa 
/cat tov piov oAojs dv€7TLfi€LKTOv dAAohaTrals d/xtAtat? 

1 rapaKTiKov] TTpaKTiKov in most mss. 

2 TLvOlas Bernardakis (but ef, 295 d): irvQidhos. 

3 tvhovvai Turnebus : cvhov Ijv. 

4 TlvBiav] TTvdiaha in almost all mss. 

5 8c 7T€pl Turnebus: 8' iwi. 6 dXdXov] d\\* dXaov Reiske. 

7 aotffxov Kal omitted in most mss. 

498 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 438 

and now to that in their imagery, like persons who 
shoot many arrows, they often manage to hit the 
mark. 

51. " Whenever, then, the imaginative and pro- 
phetic faculty is in a state of proper adjustment for 
attempering itself to the spirit as to a drug, inspiration 
in those who foretell the future is bound to come ; 
and whenever the conditions are not thus, it is bound 
not to come, or when it does come to be misleading, 
abnormal, and confusing, as we know in the case 
of the priestess who died not so long ago. As it 
happened, a deputation from abroad had arrhed to 
consult the oracle. The victim, it is said, remained 
unmoved and unaffected in any way by the first 
libations ; but the priests, in their eagerness to 
please, went far beyond their wonted usage, and only 
after the victim had been subjected to a deluge and 
nearly drowned did it at last give in. What, then, 
was the result touching the priestess ? She went 
down into the oracle unwillingly, they say, and half- 
heartedly ; and at her first responses it was at once 
plain from the harshness of her voice that she was not 
responding properly ; she was like a labouring ship 
and was filled with a mighty and baleful spirit. 
Finally she became hysterical and with a frightful 
shriek rushed towards the exit and threw herself 
down, with the result that not only the members of 
the deputation fled, but also the oracle-interpreter 
Nicander and those holy men that were present. 
However, after a little, they went in and took her 
up, still conscious ; and she lived on for a few 
days. 

1 It is for these reasons that they guard the chas- 
tity of the priestess, and keep her life free from all 

499 



PLUTARCH'S MORALTA 

(438) /cat cLOlktov <f)vXdrrovai l rrjs Tlvdcas, 2 Kal rrpo rov 
Xprjcrrrjplov ra arjiieta XapLpdvovarw , olofievoL ra> 
deep KardSrjXov etvai, rrore tj\v 7rpoo(f>opov e^otxra 
Kpdaiv /cat hiddeoiv c^SAa/JcD? vrrofievel rov iv8ov- 
aiaapLov. ovre yap rravras ovre rovs avrovs del 
Siarldrjaw (LoavTbJS rj rov Trveviiaros Sura/xt?, aAA' 
V7T€KKavfjLa Trap^xei Kal dpxty cocnrep eiprjrai rots 

D TTpos to iradelv /cat pLerafiaXeiv ot/ceta)? k\ovoiv. 
eon he deia puev ovtcos /cat SatjuoVtos-, ov (jltjv dv- 
€k\€ltttos ov8' a<f>dapros ou8' dyrjptos Kal hiapKTjs eh 
rov arreipov xpovov ifi ov rrdvra Kapivei ra jxera^v 
yijs /cat oeXrjv-qs Kara rov rjfjLerepov Xoyov. elol 8' 
ol Kal ra eVdVa) <f)doKovres ovx VTrofievetv, aAA* 
airavhaivra irpos to dioiov Kal direipov ovvexecrt 3 
Xpfjvdai fierapoXatg Kal naXiyyeveoiais . 

52. " Tavr ," e<f>rjv iyoj, " noXXaKig dvaoKeTrre- 
a#at /cat vp,as rrapaKaXco Kal ifxavrov, ojs e^ovra 
7ToAAa? dvTiXrjifjeis Kal vrrovolas TTpos rovvavrlov , 
a? 6 Katpos ov 7rapex €l trdaas ene£eX9eiv d>ore Kal 

E ravQ* VTrepKeloOoj Kal a ^lXlttttos hiaTTopet irepl 
rjXiov Kal ' AnoXXajvos ." 

1 <j>v\aTTOvoi] <f>vXaTTOvar)s most MSS. 

2 UvOias] nvdiaSos most mss. 

3 owcxcai Wyttenbach ; of eiW Reiske : 6£*ot. 



500 



OBSOLESCENCE OF ORACLES, 438 

association and contact with strangers, and take the 
omens before the oracle, thinking that it is clear to the 
god when she has the temperament and disposition 
suitable to submit to the inspiration without harm to 
herself. The power of the spirit does not affect all 
persons nor the same persons always in the same way, 
but it only supplies an enkindling and an inception, 
as has been said, for them that are in a proper state 
to be affected and to undergo the change. The power 
comes from the gods and demigods, but, for all that, 
it is not unfailing nor imperishable nor ageless, lasting 
into that infinite time by which all things between 
earth and moon become wearied out, according to our 
reasoning. And there are some who assert that the 
things above the moon also do not abide, but give 
out as they confront the everlasting and infinite, and 
undergo continual transmutations and rebirths. 

52. M These matters/' I added, " I urge upon you 
for your frequent consideration, as well as my own, 
in the belief that they contain much to which 
objections might be made, and many suggestions 
looking to a contrary conclusion, all of which the 
present occasion does not allow us to follow out. So 
let them be postponed until another time, and like- 
wise the question which Philip raises about the Sun 
and Apollo.' ' 



501 



INDEX 



Abdera, 25 : a town in Thrace 
near the mouth of the river 
Nestus. 

Abydos, 51 : a city on the Nile in 
Upper Egypt. 

Academy, the, 217, 325, 461 : the 
school of philosophy founded by 
Plato at Athens, so called from 
the place of meeting. 

Acanthus (Acanthians), 205, 297 : 
a town in eastern Chalcidice" on 
the Strymonic Gulf. 

Achaeans, 319 : a name applied to 
all, or to a part of, the Greeks 
who fought at Troy. 

Achaeus, 297: a name, according 
to grammarians, given to Orestes. 

Acron, 187 : a physician who 
attended the Athenians during 
the Great Plague (430-429 b.c.). 

Admetus, 393: king of Pherae in 
Thessaly, protagonist of Euri- 
pides' Alcestis and a character in 
a lost play of Sophocles whose 
title is unknown. 

Aegina, 309 : an island off the coast 
of Attica in the Savonic Gulf. 

Aegon, 269 : an Argive who became 
king, when the race of Hera- 
cleidae failed. 

Aegospotami (battle of), 277. 

Aemilianus, 401, 403 : an orator of 
the 1st century a.d. 

Aeolic (dialect), 363. 

Aeschylus quoted, 49, 223, 393, 
477 : Athenian tragic poet ; 525- 
456 b.c. 

Aesop, 295 : a writer of fables of 
the 6th century b.c. The fables 
later current under his name 
can hardly be in anything like 
their original form. 



Aetolians, 287. 
Africa, 319, 337. 

Agamemnon, 375 : commander-in- 
chief of the Greeks in the Trojan 

War. 
Agesilau3, 285 : kinc; of Sparta 

39S-360 B.C. Plutarch wrote his 

life. 
Aglaonice, 389: learned daughter 

of Hegetor of Thessaly. 
Aglaophon, 489 : a famous painter 

of Thasos in the early 5th 

century, father and teacher of 

Polygnotus and Aristophon. 
Aidoneus, 251 : an epithet of Hades. 
Alcaeus, 71 : according to the 

Phrygians, son of Heracles and 

father of Typhon. 
Alcaeus quoted, 353 : a great poet 

of Lesbos, contemporary with 

Sippho. 
Alexander, 57, 59, 295 : called the 

Great, king of Macedon ; 356- 

323 b.c. 
Alexandria, 67, 69 : a city in Egypt 

founded by Alexander the Great 

in 332 b.c. 
Alexarchus, 91 : a Greek historian. 
Alexis, 407 : Athenian comic poet, 

uncle of Menander ; circa 372- 

280 B.C. 
Alopecus, 337 : " Fox-hill," a name 

of the hill Orchalides in Haliartus 

in Boeotia. 
Alpheius, 473 : a river of Arcadia. 
Alyattes, 299 : king of Lydia 617(?)- 

560 B.C. 
Amenthes, 73 : the Egyptian name 

for the place to which the souls 

of the dead depart. 
Ammon, 25, 99, 353, 861 : the local 

god of the Egyptian city of 

503 



INDEX 



Thebes, but identified by the 
Greeks with Zeus. 

Ammonius, 203-207, 211, 237, 357- 
361, 371, 375, 407, 445, 447, 461- 
465, 483: of Lamptrae, Peri- 
patetic philosopher, Plutarch's 
teacher at Athens; a speaker 
in the dialogues The E at 
Delphi and The Obsolescence of 
Oracles. 

Amoun, 25: the Egyptian name 
lor Zeus. 

Amphiaratis, 861, 363: oracular 
shrine at Oropus. • 

Amphictyonic (Council), 341 : the 
council of the Sacred League 
which met twice yearly in Ther- 
mopylae. 

Amphictyons, 297. 

Amphilochus, 481 : son of Am phi - 
aratis and Eriphyle ; after his 
doath he had an oracular shrine 
in Mallos. 

Am nhitrite, 177 : goddess, wife of 
Poseidon. 

Amixagnras, 119, 233, 487: philo- 
sopher from Clazomenac, frie.ni 
of Pericles, banished from 
Athens he retired to Lampsacus ; 
circa 500-428 B.C. 

Anticleides, 91 : Athenian his- 
torian, lived in the Alexandrian 
period. 

Antigonus, 59 : called the " One- 
eyed," general of Alexander the 
Great ; circa 330-301 B.C. 

Annbis, 39, 93, 107, 145: an 
Egyptian god bearing the head 
of a jackal, which the Greeks 
thought was a dog ; identified 
by the Greeks with Hermes. 

Apelles, 59 : a famous Greek painter 
of the second half of the 4th 
century b.c. 

Aphrodite, 33, 75, 117, 161, 165, 177. 

Apis, 15, 17, 29, 51, 71, 77, 83, 85, 
105, 107, 137, 171 : the holy calf 
of Memphis. 

Apollo, 27, 33, 35, 61, 87, 133, 145, 
105, 177, 201, 207, 221, 223, 239, 
247, 251, 253, 269, 279, 293, 301, 
309, 361, 365, 393, 395, 435, 473, 
475, 483, 501. 

Apollonia, 301 : the name of various 

504 



Greek cities ; which city is indi- 
cated here is uncertain. 

Apollonius, 413 : a common Greek 
name. 

Apollonopolis, 123: a city of Upper 
Egypt, now Edfu. 

Apopis, 89: according to the 
Egyptians, brother of the Sun. 

Arabians, 23. 

Aratus quoted, 93 : a Greek astro- 
nomical poet, author oi the 
Pluienomena ; circa 315-240 b.c 

Archelaus, 199 : king of Macedon 
413-399 B.c. 

Archemachus, 67: of Euboea, a 
Greek historian. 

Archilochus quoted, 209: of Paros, 
wrote elegiac poetry as well as 
iambic, of which he was reputed 
to be the inventor ; circa 600 b.c. 

Areimanius, 113, 11 f> : the Persian 
god of darkness, Ahriman. 

Ares, 75, 117. 

A rgive, 269. 

Argives, 63, 85. 

Argo, 55 : the ship of the Argonauts. 

Aristagoras, 15 : a writer on Egypt 
of the 4th century. 

Aii.starchus, 305 : of Samos, a great 
astronomer ; circa 320-250 B.C. 

Ariston, 91 : histoiian, author of a 
woik on Athenian colonization. 

Aristonica, 325 : the prophetic 
priestess at Delphi wh» gave the 
Athenians baleful oracles in 4S0 
b.c (Herodotus, vii. 140). 

Aristotle, 119, 143, 181, 1S7. 227, 
205. 267, 279, 427, 457, 479 : the 
philosopher; 384-322 b.c 

Aristyllus, 305 : an astronomer. 

Arne, 467 : a town in south-western 
Thessaly. 

Arsalus, 413 : a ruler of the Solymi. 

Arsaphes, 91 : an Egyptian name 
of Osiris, regarded as Dionysus. 

Artemis, 27, 165, 435. 

Arueris, 33, 35 : son of Isis and 
Osiris, regarded by the Greeks 
as Apollo, or the elder Horus. 

Aso, 35 : a queen of Ethiopia. 

Assyrians, 57. 

Astarte\ 41 : a name given by some 
to the queen of Byblus who 
sheltered Isis. 



INDEX 



Asterium, 289 : a place in Tenedos. 
Astronomy, 307: a work in verse 

attributed by some to Thales 

(not extant). 
Athena, 25, 27, 79, 147, 165, 177, 

•277, 307, 319. 
Athenaeus, 413 : a common Greek 

name. 
Athenais, 41 : the Greek equivalent 

of Nemanus. 
Athenian, 215, 277. 
A thenian Colonization, 91 : a work 

of the historian Ariston. 
Athenians. 161, 207, 297, 301, 307. 
Athens, 161. 187, 269, 309. 
Athyr, 37, 95, 161 : an Egyptian 

month, the Attic Pyanepsion 

(October to November). 
Athyri, 137 : an Egyptian name 

for I sis. 
Atlas, 215 : son of the Titan Iapetos, 

bore the heavens on his shoulder. 
Attica, 477. 

Bacchic, 85, 497. 

Bacchus, 225. 

Bacis, 285 : a legendary seer. 

Basilocles, 259, 261 : a speaker in 

the dialogue The Oracles at 

Delphi. 
Battus, 319, 335 : the founder of 

Gyrene circa 630 b.c. 
Bear, the, 53 : the constellation. 
Bebon, 121,147: an Egyptian name 

for Typhon. 
Bias, 205 : of Priene, one of the 

Seven Wise Men : circa 550 b.c 
Bocchoris, 23 : Bekneranef, king 

of Eyypt circa 718-712 B.C. 
Boeotia, 343. 361. 
Boeotian, 215. 
Boeotians, 161. 
Brethus, 271-275, 279-285, 289, 303, 

305 : an Epicurean contemporary 

of Plutarch's, a speaki r in the 

dialogue The Oracles at Delphi, 

and in the Symposiac Questions, 

v. 1. 
Brasida8, 295, 297 : a distinguished 

Spartan general in the Pelopon- 

nesian War. He was killed at 

Amphipolis in 422 B.C. 
Briareus, 405 : a monster with fifty 

heads and en hundred arms. 



Britain, 353, 408. 

Britons, 403. 

Busiris, 53, 73 : a town In Egypt. 

Buto, 45, 93, 153 : a town in Lower 

Egypt. 
Byblus, 39-43 : a town and a region 

of the Egyptian Delta. 

Cadmus, 273 : a Phoenician adven- 
turer, reputed founder of Thebes. 
Caesar (Augustus), 207. 
Caesar, Tiberius, 403. 
Callias, 297 : a rich Athenian, 

friend and host of Socrates in 

Xenophon's Symposium. 
Callistratus, 351 : an official of the 

Amphictyonic Council, speaker 

in the Symposiac Questions^ 

vii. 5. 
Cambyses, 107: son of Cyrus the 

Great, second king of Persia, 

the conqueror of Egypt (died 

522 B.C.X 
Canopus, 55 : pilot of Menelatts, 

who was buried in Egypt, and 

became identified with Serapis 

or Pluto. 
Canopus, 67: a town in the 

Egyptian Delta, 
f apitolinus, Jupiter, 165. 
Carthaginians, 287. 
Castor, 77: of Rhodes, a Greek 

historian of the 1st century B.C. 
Cerberus, 69 : the three - headed 

Hound of Hell. 
Chaeremon quoted, 325 : a Greek 

tragic poet of the early 4th 

century B.C. 
Chaeroneia, 365 : a town in Boeotia, 

birthplace of Plutarch. 
Chaldean, 207. 
Chaldeans, 117. 
Chaos, 137: part of the Hesiodio 

cosmology. 
Cheiron, 215: the Centaur, tutor 

of Achilles. 
Chemia, 83 : an Egyptian name for 

Egypt. 
Chemmis, 37 : a city of Egypt near 

Thebes, the Greek Panopolis. 
Chilon, 205 : of Sparta, one of the 

Seven Wise Men, circa 590 B.C. 
Chonuphis, 25 : a priest of Memphis. 
Chronos, 77 : Father Time. 

505 



INDEX 



Chrysippus, 61, 899, 433, 435: a 
Stoic philosopher from Soli in 
Cilicia ; 280-206 B.C. 

Cilicia, 479, 481. 

Cinaethon, 331 : of Sparta, a genea- 
logical poet of the 8th or 7th 
century b.c. 

Clea, 7, 11, 29, 85: the priestess 
at Delphi, contemporary with 
Plutarch, to whom he dedicated 
the Isis and Osiris and The 
Bravery of Women. 

Cleander, 309 : a man of Aegina, 
accomplice of Proclus df Epi- 
danrus. 

Cleanthes, 155 : of Assos in the 
Troad, successor to Zeno in the 
Stoic school ; 331/330-232/231 B.C. 

Cleobulina, 297 : daughter of Cleo- 
bulus of Rhodes, whose real 
name was Eumetis ; famed for 
her riddles. 

Cleobulus, 205, (297) : of Lindus in 
Rhodes, one of the Seven Wise 
Men, of the early 6th century. 

Cleombrotus, 353, 355, 359, 361, 
375, 377, 381-385, 395-399, 405, 
409, 415 : of Sparta, speaker in 
the dialogue The Obsolescence of 
Oracles. 

Cleon, 497 : a native of Daulia. 

Cleonae, 295: a town near Hyam- 
polis in Phocis. 

Cleotimus, 309 : brother of Proclus 
of Epidaurus. 

Clio, 303 : one of the Muses, 
generally regarded as the Muse 
of History. 

Cnidian (Clubhouse), 365 : a build- 
ing at Delphi. 

Cnidians, 279. 

Colophon, 163. 

Conflagration, the, of theWorld, 383. 

Copto, see Kopto. 

Coretas, 475, 485: a Delphian 
shepherd, the first, according 
to tradition, to give evidence of 
the power of prophecy resident 
in the place. 

Corinth, 205, 263, 289. 

Corinthian, 263. 

Corinthians, 289, 293-297. 

CoronS, 365: "Crow," a woman of 
Chaeroneia. 

506 



Corycian (cave), 259 : at Delphi. 
Crates, 295, 297 : of Thebes, Cynic 

philosopher, disciple of Diogenes, 

3rd century b.c. 
Cratylus, 233 : a dialogue of Plato, 

concerned principally with ety- 
mology. 
Crete, 177, 393. 
Cretines (or -us), 335 : of Miletus, 

founder of Sinope\ 
Croesus, 299 : king of Lydia 560- 

546 B.C. 
Cronus, 31, 33, 61, 77, 79, 81, 107, 

161, 405, 413: a god, son of 

Uranus and father of Zeus, 

Hera, Poseidon, ilades, Demeter. 

and Hestia. 
Cumae, 283 : a city of Campania. 
Cyclops, 483: the one-eyed giant, 

Polyphemus, who was blinded by 

Odysseus in the Odyssey and in 

Euripides' play. 
Cydnus, 473 : a river of Cilicia 

which flows through the city of 

Tarsus. 
Cynic, 367 : a school of philosophy 

founded by Antisthenes. 
Cynopolis, 169: a city in the 

Egyptian Delta, now Samallut. 
cyphi, 1*27, 187-191 : an Egyptian 

medicinal preparation. 
Cypselus, 293 : tyrant of Corinth, 

son of Aeetion and father of 

Periander. 
Cyrus, 57 : the Great, founder of 

the Persian Empire, killed in 

529 B.c. 



Damatrius, 161 : the Boeotian 

name for the Attic month 

Pyanepsion. 
Danube, 439. 
Daulia, 497 ; a town In Phocis near 

Delphi. 
Deinomenes, 309: of Gela, father 

of the tyrants Gelon, Hiero, and 

Thrasybulus. 
Deinon, 77 : of Colophon, edited 

and continued Ctesias's Persian 

History. 
Delian, 203, 251, 365.^ 
Delos, 211, 365. 
Delphi, 85, 87, 201, 221, 267, 293, 



INDEX 



315, 341, 351, 365, 373, 375, 393, 
411, 475,485. 

Delphians, 207. 

Demeter, 61, 75, 99, 151, 155, 161. 

Demetrius, 353, 355, 361, 367, 3>1, 
385, 403, 417, 421, 4'J7, 461, 473, 
479, 481 : of Tarsus, a gram- 
marian, a speakt r in the dialogue 
The Obsolescence of Oracles. 

Democritus, 100, 401 : a philo- 
sopher of Abdera, the great 
exponent of £h« Atomic Theory ; 
circa 4<»0-400 B.C. 

Dicaearcheia, 283 : a city of 
Campania, the Lathi Puteoli 
(Pozzuoli). 

Dicaearclms, 199: of Messene, a 
geographer and historian of the 
late 4 tli century. 

Dictys, 21 : nursling of Isis. 

Didymus, 367 : a Cynic, surnamed 
Planetiades. 

Oiochites, 51 : a name given the 
town containing the tomb of 
Osiris. 

Diogenianus, 261-265, 269, 275, 
289, 319: of Pergamum, an 
Academic philosopher, a speaker 
in the dialogue The Oracles at 
Delphi. 

Diomedes, 319: son of Tydeus, a 
hero of the Trojan War. 

Dionysiac, 85. 

Dionysius, 69 : servant of Ptolemy 
Soter. 

Dionysius, 165 : the identity of the 
person referred to disputed. 

Dionysius, 413: a common Greek 
name. 

Dionysus, 35, 61, 67-71, 75, 83-91, 
99, 151, 155, 221-225, 411. 

Dius, 413 : a common Greek name. 

Dog star, the, 53, 55, 91, 115, 129, 
147 : Sirius. 

Dolon's Way, 395. 

Dorian, 419. 

Dorc (dialect), 411. 

Dragon's t*eth, 259. 

Dryus, 413 : ruler of the Solymi. 

E, the, at Delphi, 201, 207, 215, 

235 237 439. 
Earth, the, 65, 89, 137, 303, 305, 

355, 475, 477, a/. 



Echecrates, 365: prophetic priest 
at Delphi at the time oi tU* 
Persian wars. 

Echinades, 401 : nine small islan . - 
in the Ionian Sea at the mouth 
of the Aclieluus. 

Egypt, 25, 45, 53, 57, 69, 71, 83, 99, 
107, 159, 353. 

Egyptian, 25, 27, 73, 137, 147, 159, 
379, 401, 419. 

Egyptians, 15, 19, 23, 25, 29, 31, 
35-39, 43-47, 51-55, 69, 73-79, 83, 
87-93, 101, 107, 121, 129, 135, 143, 
147, H9, 153-157, 161-173, 177, 
187, 291, 4' ft. 

Eileithyia, 171 : tin- goddess of the 
rites of childbirth. 

Eleans, 293, 295. 

Elephantine, 105 : an island in the 
Nile opposite Syene ; to - day 
El-Gezire. 

Elis, S5, 177, 295. 

Empedocles, 117, 305, 399, 407; 
quoted, 05, 291, 397, 473 : a philo- 
sopher of Acragas ; circa 494-434. 

Epaphus, 91 : son of Zeus and lo, 
a Greek equivalent of Apis. 

Epicureanism, 271. 

Epicureans, 405, 407, 481. 

Epicurus, 109, 275, 279, 289, 407, 
483 : a Greek philosopher 341- 
270 B.C. 

Epidaurus, 309 : a city on the east 
coast of Argolis. 

Epimenides quoted, 351 : a prophet 
of Crete circa 600 n. c. 

Epiphi, 127 : an Egyptian month 
(about July). 

Epitherses 401 : father of Aemi- 
iianus, the orator. 

Eresus, 419 : a town of Lesbos. 

Eretria, 301 : a city of Eu> oea. 

Erythrae, 297, 3t'7 •' a city on the 
coast of Asia Minor opposite Chios. 

Etesian Winds, 95. 

Ethiopia, 35, 95. 

Ethiopians, 95. 

Euboea, 67, 477. 

Euboean, 477. 

Eudoxns, 17, 25, 53, 75, 129, 149, 
151, 305, 307 : of Cnidos, a mathe- 
matician and astronomer, who 
also wrote a book on travel ; 
4th century ac. 

507 



INDEX 



Euhemerus, 57 : of Messene, author 
of a celebrated work on the 
mortal lives of the gods ; late 
4th century &c. 

Eumetis, 297 ; see Cleobulina, 

Euripides quoted, 109, 105, 175, 
199, 231, 251, 319, 323, 333, 387, 
461, 469, 471, 483: Athenian 
tragic poet; circa 485-406 B.C. 

Eurycleis, 377: ventriloquists, so 
called from Eurycles, an Athen- 
ian of the 5th century. 

Eustrophus, 215, 217, 2.9, 233 : of 
Athens, speaker in the dialogue 
The E at Delphi. 

Fates, the, 203. 

Galaxium, 343 : a town of Boeotia. 

Gelo, 309: son of Deinomenes, 
ruler of Gela 491-483 B.C., and of 
Syracuse 485-478 b. c. 

Giants, 61. 

Glauce, 273: of Chios, a famous 
lyre-player. 

Gnesioehus, 335 : a Megarian ad- 
venturer. 

Gorgias, 407 : of Leontini, a famous 
rhetorician ; circa 483-375 B.C. 

Great Mother, 331: Cybebe, the 
Anatolian goddess. 

Grecian, 281. 

Greece, 73, 145, 205, 279, 335, 337, 
373, 395. 

Greek, 9, 57, 145, 147, 157, 363, 
409, 417. 

Greeks, 25, 35, 41, 53, 55, 61, 77, 
83-87, 91, 107, 1(9, 117, 129, 135, 
145, 159, 165, 167, 177, 183, 207, 
211, 297, 841, 363, 365, 379, 395, 
485. 

Hades, 69, 73, 75, 113-117, 183, 
253. 

Ilaliartus, 337 : a town in Boeotia. 

Hamadryads, 381. 

Hannibal, 287 : the great Cartha- 
ginian general ; 247-183 b.c. 

Harpocrates, 49, 153, 159 : son of 
Isis and Osiris, the Egyptian god 
of Silence. 

Heeataeus, 17, 25: of Abdera, a 
philosopher and historian ; circa 
300 B.c, 

508 



H^catS, 107, 165, 3S7; a chthonic 

deity of the Greeks. 
Hegetor, 3a9 : a Thessalian, fathei 

of Aglaonice. 
II- 1 icon, 281 : a mountain of 

Boeotia, resort of the Muses. 
Heliopolis, 17, 25, 83 : a city in 

Lower Egypt on the borders of 

Arabia. 
Hellanicus, 83 : of MitylenS, an 

hu»tor tan of the 5th century. 
Hephaestus, 77, 155. 
Hera, 75, 77. 
ller.icleides Ponticus, 67 : of Hera- 

cleia, pupil of Plato, a philo- 
sopher and historian of the 4th 

century. 
Heracleitus, 109, 117, 315, 383; 

quoted, 69, 117, 181, 221, 241, 

273, 383, 471 ; of Ephesus, a 

philosopher ; circa 560-500 b c. 
Heiacleon, 3>7, 3b9, 397, 399, 415, 

419 : of Magnesia, Peripatetic 

philosopher and speaker in the 

dialogue The Obsolescence of 

Oracles. 
Heracles, 67, 71, 99, 101, 215, 295, 

311, 3t9, 393. 
Heraea, 497 : a town of Arcadia. 
Hermaeus, 91, 103 : an unidentified 

writer of (Egyptian?) history. 

Reiske would read Htmieas and 

identify him with the writer in 

Frag. Hi,t Graec. ii. 80, but the 

whole matter is very doubtful. 
Hermaeus, 415 : a common Greek 

name. 
Hermanubis, 145 : son of Osiris 

and Ncphth>s, symbol of the 

search for truth. 
Hermes, 11, 29, 31, 33, 49, 55, 101, 

131, 133, 145, 157, 403. 
Hermodotus, 59 : an obscure poet 

at the court of Antigouus the 

One- Eyed. 
Hermon : see 276, note a. 
Hermopoiis, 11, 123: a city of 

Egypt. 
Herodotus, 311, 489 ; quoted, 391 : 

Greek historian of the 5 th 

century. 
HerophilS, 297: daughter of Theo- 

dorus, the Sibvl of Ervthrae. 
Hesiod, 13, 63, 137, 269-273, 805, 



INDEX 



807, 867. 379, 3S3, 3*5*; quoted, 
15, 65, 381, 389, 403, 405, 477 : of 
Ascra in Boeotia, didactic poet 
of the 8th century b.c. 

Hestia, 75 : the goddess of the 
hearth-tire. 

Hiero, 277 : a Spartan. 

Hiero, 277, 309: son of Deino- 
menes, ruler of Gela and Syra- 
cuse ; 478-467 b.c. 

Hierosolymus, 77 : son of Typhon. 

Himera, 419 : a city ol Sicily. 

Hipparchus, 303 : an astronomer ; 
circa 190-120 B.C. 

Hippys, 419: of Rhegium, an 
historian of the 5th century. 

Homer, 19, 61, 83, 99, 123, 229, 247, 
249, 269, 271, 275, 279, 289, 319, 
379, 419, 421, 437; quoted, 7, 63 
117, 125, 209, 213, 251, 269, 291, 
317, 339, 355, 383, 417, 491. 

Homoeomeria, 425 : the doctrine of 
Anaxagoras. 

Hoplites, 337 : a river of Boeotia. 

Hora, 93 : the " seasonable temper- 
ing of the surrounding air." 

Horus, 33, 35, 45 49, 53, 55, 93, 97, 
99, 105, 123, 127, 131-139, 145 
149 : son of Isis and Osiris, the 
Egyptian god of Light. 

Hyes, 83 : a cult name of Dionysus. 

Hysiris, 85 : Hellanicus's spelling 
of Osiris. 

Igius, 247: a cult name of Apollo. 

India, 71. 

Indian, 419. 

Iseion, 11 : the shrine of Isis. 

Isis, 9, 11, 21, 25, 33-49 53, 55, 59, 

67, 71, 73, 79, 83, 89-93, 97, 105, 

107, 123, 127-137, 143, 147-153, 

159, 181. 
Ismenian, 203: an epithet of 

Apollo. 
Isodaetes, 223: an epithet of 

Apollo. 
Ister, 311 : of Cyrene, a Greek 

historian, slave of the poet 

Callimachus, 3rd century B.C. 
Isthmian Games, 293. 
Italy, 279, 401. 
Ithacans, 19. 

Jewish, 77. 



Judaeus, 77 : son of Typhon. 
Jupiter, 165. 

Kneph, 55: an Egyptian god. 
Kopto (Copto), 37, 73, 133 ; a city 
of Upper Egypt, north of Thebes. 
Kore, 99, 161 : see Persephond. 

Labyadae, 395 : a clan at Delphi. 

Lachares, 165 : tyrant of Athens ; 
296-295 b.c. 

Lamia, 281 : daughter of Poseidon. 

Lamprias, 205, 207, 371, 401, 463, 
483, 487 : brother of Plutarch, 
a speaker in the dialogues The 
E at Delphi and The Obsolescence 
of Oracles. 

Laws, Th* t 119 : a work of Plato. 

Lebadeia, 361, 463; a town of 
Boeotia, renowned for its oracle 
of Trophonius. 

Leda, 297: daughter of Thestius 
of Aetolia, wife of Tyndareiis, 
mother of the Dioscuri, Helen, 
and Clytemnestra. 

Lemnos, 173. 

Leschenorian, 203 : an epithet of 
Apollo. 

Leto, 93 : mother of Apollo and 
Artemis. 

Leuctra, 277 : a town in Boeotia. 

Lindians, 205 : citizens of Lindus 
in Rhodes. 

Lion (Leo), 91, 93 : the constella- 
tion. 

Livia, 207: wife of Caesar Au- 
gustus. 

Love, 137, 139 : element in the 
Hesiodic cosmogony. 

Lycians, 413. 

Lycopolis, 73, 169 : a town in 
Egypt. 

Lycoi eia, 259 : a town near Delphi. 

Lycurgus, 25. 311: the reputed 
author of the Spartan constitu- 
tion. Plutarch wrote his life. 

Lydian, 363. 

Lysander, 277, 337 : Spartan com- 
mander, ended the Peloponnesian 
War at the battle of Aegos- 
potami (404) ; killed at the battle 
of Haliartus (395). Plutarch 
wrote his life. 

509 



INDEX 



Lysippus, 59 : a sculptor of the 
second half of the 4th century. 

Macedonians, 57. 

Magnesia, 3U1 : a city of Asia 

Minor. 
Malcander, 41 : a king of Byblus. 
Maliaus, 2SI. 

Maneros, 43 : son of Malcander. 
Manes, 57 : a king of Phrygia. 
Manetho, 25, 69, 121, 147, 171: of 

Sebennytus, historian of Egypt> 

3rd century b.c. 
Mardonius, 3o3 : Persian comman- 
der, killed at Plataea in 479 B.C. 
Masdes, 57 : alternative form of 

Manes. 
Megara, 367. 
Megarians, 301, 373. 
Meinis, 23 (cj. 22, note a): first 

king of Egypt circa 3500 B.C. 
Melilotus, 93. 
Melos, 489. 
Memphis, 25, 51, 71, 105, 153 : a 

city of Egypt. 
Menander, lo3 : Athenian comic 

poet ; 342-291 b.c. 
Mendes, 105, 171 : a city of Egypt. 
Mercury, 455 : the planet. 
Meriones. 393 : sou of Molus, hero 

in the Trojan War. 
Mesore, 159 : an Egyptian month 

(August?). 
Messene, 57. 
Metapontum, 279 : a Greek city on 

the Gulf of Tarentum in southern 

Italy. 
Methyer, 137 : a name of Ms. 
Metrcdorus, 407: of Lampsacus, 

friend and pupil of Epicurus ; 

died 277 B.C. 
Min, 137 : a name of Horus. 
Mithras, 113: the Persian god of 

Light. 
Mnaseas, 91 : of Patrae or Patara, 

pupil of Eratosthenes, a Euhe- 

merist. 
Mnemosyne^ 251 : Memory, mother 

of the Muses. 
Mnesarete, 295 : the true name of 

Phryne, the courtesan. 
Mnesinoe, 297 : a name of Leda. 
Mneuis, 83 : the sacred black bull 

of lieliopolis. 

510 



Molionidae, 295 : Eurytus and 
Cteatus, sons of Molione, 

Molus, 3 *3 : father of Meriones. 

Moon, the, 105, 107, 127, 129, 233. 

Mopsus, 481 : founded M alios to- 
gether with Amphiloehus. 

Muse, 323, 327. 

Mushs, 11, 251, 269, 281, 303, 305. 

Muth, 137 : a name of Isis. 

Myrina, 301 : a city of Aeolian Asia 
Minor between Cyme and Gry- 
neium. 

Myrtale, 295: a name of Olympias, 
moth«r of Alexander the Great. 

Mys, 361, 363 : a Caiian from 
Europus, consulted the oracle of 
Trophonius during the Persian 
wars. 

Mysteries, the, 389, 391. 

Naiad, 381. 

Nemanus, 41 : a name of Astarte, 
queen of Byblus. 

Xeobule, 209: thft beloved of 
Archilochus. 

Neochorus, 337 : of Haliartus, tK 
slayer of Lysander. 

Nephthys, 33, 39, 93, 95, 107, 141, 
14P : an Egyptian goddess, 
equated with Aphrodite by the 
Greeks. 

Nero, 201 : emperor of Rome 
a.d. 54-68. 

Nicander, 207, 209, 237, 499 : priest 
of Delphi to whom Plutarch dedi- 
cated the essay On Listening to 

Nile, the," 15, 19, 79, 81, 87, 93-99, 

103, 151, 153, 175. 
Nyctelius, 223 : a name given to 

Apollo. 
Nymphs, 381, 383. 

OCBANUS, 83. 

Ochus, 29, 77: Artaxerxes III., 
king of Persia 35K-338 B.C. 

Odysseus, 19, 319, 417. 

Oechalia, 393 : a city of Euboea, 
sacked by Heracles. 

Oenuphis, 25 : priest of Heliopolis. 

Olympia, 203, 473. 

Olympian, 63, 117. 

Olympias, 295 : wife of Philip and 
mother of Alexander the Great. 



INDEX 



Olympus, 107, 410. 

Omphis, 103 : a name of Osiris. 

Onomacritus, 331 : an Athenian 

collector of oracles in the time 

of Peisistratus. 
Opuntians, 299, 301 : citizens of 

Opus in Locris. 
Orchalides, 337 : a hill near Hali- 

artus in Boeotia. 
Orchomenos, 479 : a town in 

Boeotia. 
Orestes, 297: son of Agamemnon 

and Clytemnestra. 
Orion, 53, 55 : the constellation. 
Orneatans, 297 : citizens of Orneae 

in Ar^olis. 
Oromazes, 113, 115 : Ahura Mazda, 

the Persian god of Good. 
Orpheus, 305, 379, 38a 
Orphic, 237 ; fragment quoted, 491. 
Osiris, 19, 21, 27, 33-39, 45-55, 59, 

61, 67-73, 77, 81-107, 121-137, 141, 

145, 147, 151, 153, 167, 171, 181, 

183, 413. 
Oxyrhynchus, 19, 169 : a town in 

Egypt. 



Palaestinus, 43 : a name of the 
son of Malcander, king of 
Byblus. 

Pallas (Athena), 277. 

Palodes, 401, 403 : a place in the 
neighbourhood of Paxi. 

Pamyles, 83: a Priapean god of 
the Egyptians. 

Pamylia, 33, 89 : an Egyptian fes- 
tival in honour of Pamyles. 

Pan, 401, 403; Pans, 37. 

Panchoans, 57. 

Panchon (or Panchaea), 57 : a fabu- 
lous island in the Persian Gulf, 
described by Euhtmems. 

Pandarns, 319 : a Lycian leader in 
the Trojan War. 

Paphlaeonians, 161. 

Parmenides, 305 : of Elea, pupil 
and successor of Xenophanes in 
the Eleatic school of philosophy ; 
early 5th century. 

Pauson, 271 : an Attic painter or 
caricaturist of the first half of 
the 4th century. 

Paxi, 401 : two small islands be- 



tween Corcyra and Leucas, now 
Paxo. 

Payni, 75 : an Egyptian name of a 
month. 

Peloponnesian War, 365. 

Pelusius, 43 : a name of the son of 
Malcander, king of Byblus. 

Penelope\ 403 : wife of Odysseus. 

Periander, 205 : tyrant of Corinth ; 
627-5o5 b c. 

Persephone, 67, 161 : the Daughter 
(Kore) of Demeter ; see also Koi e 
and Phersephone. 

Persian, 29, 77; Gulf, 353, 411; 
Wars, 301,361, 365. 

Persians, 57, 113. 

Petraeus, 343 : L. Cassius Petraeus, 
a speaker in the Symposiac Ques- 
tions, v. 2. 

Petron, 419 : of Himera, a philo- 
sopher. 

Phaeacians, 19 : the inhabitants of 
Phaeacia (later identified with 
Corcyra) in the Odyssey. 

Phaedrus, 43 : a river in Egypt. 

Phaestus, 351 : a city in Crete. 

Phalanthus, 335 : son of Agelaiis, 
founder of Phalanthus in Ar- 
cadia. 

Phamenoth, 105: an Egyptian 
month. 

Phanaean, 203, 251 : epithet of 
Apollo. 

Phania«, 419 : of Eresus in Lesbos, 
Peripatetic philosopher and his- 
torian ; 4th century. 

Phaophi, 75, 127, 153 : an Egyptian 
month. 

Pharos, 99 : an island off the coast 
of Egypt near Alexandria. 

Pharsalia, 279 : a town in Thessaly. 

Pheidias, 177 : an Athenian sculp- 
tor of the 5th century. 

Phersephonfi, 165 : see Persephone. 

Philae, 53 : a sacred island in the 
Nile at the southern boundary 
of Upper Egypt. 

Ph ilebus, 235 : a work of Plato. 

Philinus, 259, 261, 323 : of Phocia, 
a friend of Plutarch's and speaker 
in the dialogue The Oracles at 
Delphi. 

Philip, 395-399, 403, 439, 483, 487, 
501 : an historian, speaker in the 

511 



INDEX 



dialogue The Obsolescence of 

Oracles. 
Philip (VA 287 : king of Macedon, 

defeated by Flaraininus at Cy noa- 

cephalae in 197 ; 237-179 ac. 
Philochorus, 311 : an eminent 

Athenian historian, killed soon 

after 261 B.& 
Philomelus, 279 : tyrant of Phocis 

in the 4th century. 
Phocians, 279, 297, 299. 
Phocis, 811. 
Phoebus, 223, 247, 251, 333 : " The 

Radiant One" (see 411V See 

also Apollo. 
Phoenicia, 123. 
Phoenicians, 287. 
Phoenix, the, 381. 
Phrygian, 71, 379. 
Phrygians, 57, 161. 
Phryne, 295, 297 : a famous cour- 
tesan of Thespiae ; 4th century. 
Phylarchus, 71 : historian and 

opponent of Aratus of Sicyon ; 

8rd century B.C. 
Pindar, 307, 319; quoted, 87, 

191, 251, 273, 323, 327, 369, 381, 

391. 
Pittacus, 205 : ruler of Mitylene, 

one of the Seven Wise Men. 
Planetiades, 367, 369, 371 : nick- 

name of the cynic Didymus. 
Plataeae, 373 : a town in Boeotia 

near Attica, where the Greeks 

defeated the Persians under Mar- 

donius in 479 B.C. 
Plato, 25, 29, 63, 65, 73, 119, 129, 

135-139, 143, 163, 181, 211, 227, 

229, 233, 235, 325, 377, 383, 387, 

389, 399, 409, 415, 419, 421, 441, 

443, 447, 457, 461, 487, 491; 

quoted, 13, 59, 143, 291 : the 

philosopher; 427-346 B.C. 
Pleiades, 161 : the constellation. 
Pleistoanax, 307 : king of Sparta 

circa 458-408 B.C. 
Pluto, 67, 69, 161, 183, 251 : see 

also Hades. 
Polycratea, 843 : a magistrate or 

priest (?), apparently of Phocis 

and Plutarch's contemporary. 
Polyenotus, 4S9 : of Thasos, son of 

Aglaophon, the great painter; 

circa 600-445. 

512 



Polyxena, 295 : a name of Olympias, 
mother of Alexander the Great. 

Poseidon, 27, 101, 177, 281, 435. 

Praxiteles, 297 : son of Cephiso- 
dotus of Athens, the great 
painter; first half of 4th cen- 
tury. 

Priam, 63 : king of Troy. 

Priscus, see Terentius. 

Procles, 309 : tyrant of Epidaurus 
in the 7th century b.c, father- 
in-law of Periander. 

Prodicus, 331 : of Ceos, a sophist ; 
5th century. 

Prometheus, 11, 91, 215 : the Titan, 
benefactor of mankind. 

Prytaneum, the, 237 : the town 
hall at Delphi. 

Psammetichiis, 17 : king of Egypt 
in the 7th century. 

Ptolemy Soter, 67, 69 : king of 
Egypt 322-2S5 b.c. 

Ptoum (Ptoan), 361, 378 : a moun- 
tain in Boeotia on which stood a 
famous shrine of Apollo. 

Pyanepsion, 161 : an Attic month 
(October-November). 

Pylaea, 341 : a suburb of Delphi. 

Pythagoras, 25, 59, 75. 81, 119, 
369, 441(?): philosopher; 6th 
century b.c. 

Pythagorean, 27. 

Pythagoreans, 103, 177, 189, 219. 

Pythian, 199, 203, 213, 351, 365, 
371. 

Python, 61, 411 : a fabulous snake, 
lord of Delphi before the advent 
of Apollo 

Pythones, 377 : ventriloquists. 



Republic, 135 : a dialogue of Plato. 
Rhea, 31, 75, 1 3, 455: goddess, 

wife of Cronus and mother of 

Zeus. 
Rhegium, 419 : a city of southern 

Italy on the straits opposite 

Messana, now Reggio. 
Rhodes, 297. 
Rhodopis, 295 : a famous courtesan 

of the 6th century B.C. 
Romans, 169, 287. 
Rome, 403. 
Rumour (personified), 41. 



INDEX 



BaTs, 25, 79: • city of Lower 
Egypt. 

Baosis, 41: a name of Astarte, 
queen of Byblus. 

Bappho, 273, 325: of Lesbos, the 
great poetess ; late 7th and early 
6th centuries. 

Sarapion, 199, 269-275, 281, 285, 
293, 301, 305 : of Athens, a poet 
to whom Plutarch dedicated The 
B at Delphi ; he is also a speaker 
in the dialogue The Oracles at 
Delphi. 

Satyrs, 37. 

Scorpion, the, 87: a sign of the 
zodiac. 

Scotios, 251 : an epithet of Hades. 

Scy thinus, 301 : historian and poet 
from Teos. 

Sealers, 77 : title of certain Egyp- 
tian priests. 

Sebennytus, 25, 69: a city of 
Egypt. 

Selinus, 289 : a city of Sicily. 

Semiramis, 57 : wife of Ninus of 
Nineveh, bnt often identified 
with Herodotus's (i. 184) Baby- 
lonian queen (Sdinmuramat) : re- 
garded as an Assyrian queen by 
Plutarch. 

Serapis, 67-73, 91, 147, 331 : a Baby- 
lonian god introduced into 
Egypt by Ptolemy Soter ; often 
identified with Hades. 

Sesostris, 57 : mythical king of 
Egypt, sometimes identified with 
Rameses II. 

Seth (Set), 101, 121, 147 : the 
Egyptian god identified with 
Typhon. 

Sibyl, the, 273, 281-285, 297, 825, 

Sicily, 277, 307, 309, 419. 

Sicyonians, 297. 

Bimonides quoted, 55. 303, 489 : 
of Ceos, distinguished lyric poet ; 
556-467 B.c. 

Sinope, 67, 69, 489 : Greek city on 
the southern shore of the Black 
Sea. 

Sirius, 129 : see also Dog-star. 

Smu, 147 : a name of Typhon. 

Sociates, 137, 297, 325 : Athenian 
philosopher; 468-399 b.c. 

Socrates, 85 : an historian of Argos. 



Soli, 441 : a city of Cilicfa. 
Solon, 25, 205 : the Athenian la 

giver ; circa 638-558 B.C. 
Solyiiii, 413 : a Syrian, or Scythian 

tribe living in Lycia. 
Sonchis, 25 : a priest of Sais. 
Sophist, 235 : a work of Plato. 
8ophists, 205. 
Sophocles quoted, 253, 329, 377, 

393 : Athenian tragic poet ; 495- 

406 b.c. 
Sophron quoted, 209 : of Syracuse, 

writer of mimes; 5th century. 
Sosibius, 67 : a much-t ravelled 

man at the court of Ptolemy 

Soter, perhaps to be identified 

with the Spartan chronographer. 
So teles, 69 : a servant of Ptolemy 

Soter. 
Sothis, 53, 147 : Egyptian name of 

the Dog-star. 
Sparta, 285, 353. 
Spartan, 277, 311. 
Spartans, 307, 329. 
Stesichorus, 251 ; quoted, 253 : of 

Matanrns or Himera, poet of 

choral lyrics ; circa 640-555 B.C. 
Stoic, 109, 291, 383. 
Stoicism, 291. 

Stoics, 99, 101, 291, 405, 435. 
Stratonice, 295 : a name of Olym- 
pian, mother of Alexander the 

Great. 
Styx, 305: river of the Lower 

World. 
Sun, the, 31, 33, 89-93, 105, 107, 

115, 117, 125-129, 135, 145, 207, 

291, 293, 455, 475, 501. 
Sword, the, 29 : a name given by 

the Egyptians to Ochus. 
Syene, 19, 357 : a city on the Nile 

in Upper Egypt, now Assuan. 
Symposium, 137 : a dialogue of 

Plato. 
Syracuse, 277. 

Tanitic Mouth of the Nile, 37. 
Taphosiris, 53: "the tomb of 

Osiris," a town in Egypt. 
Tar9us, 353, 473 : a city in Cilicia. 
Tartarus, 137 : the Lower World. 
Technactis, 23 : Tefnakhte, father 

of Bekneranef, king of Lower 

Egypt circa 725 B.C. 

513 



INDEX 



Tes:vrae, 363, 865, 373 : a town in 
lioeotia. 

Teiresias, 479 : the blind seer of 
Thebes. 

Tempe, 395, 411 : the vale in Thes- 
saly through which the Peneus 
Hows to the sea. 

Tenedos, 289 : an island off the 
coast of Asia Minor near Troy. 

Terentius Priscus, 351 : a friend of 
Plutarch, to whom he dedicated 
the dialogue The Obsolescence of 
Oracles. 

Tethys, 83: goddess, wife of 
Oceanus. 

Teucer, 335 : son of Teiamon, 
founded Salamis in Cyprus. 

Thales, 25, 83, 205, 305, 307 : the 
first prominent Greek scientist ; 
circa 636-546 B.C. 

Thamus, 401, 403: an Egyptian 
pilot. 

Thasian, 489. 

Theban, 55. 

Thebes, 23, 27, 33 : a city of Egypt. 

Themis, 413 : goddess of Justice. 

Theodoras, 441, 445 : of Soli, 
commentator on Plato's mathe- 
matical theories. 

Theodoras, 157 : called the Athe- 
ist. 

Theognis, 265. 

Theon. 209, 215, 263-207, 273, 277, 
297, 299 : an Egyptian friend of 
Plutarch, a grammarian, speaker 
in th« dialogues On the Face in 
the Moon, The E at Delphi, The 
Oracles at Delphi, and others. 

Theophrastus, 407 : of Lesbos, 
born 372 B.C., pupil of Aristotle, 
distinguished philosopher and 
scientist. 

Theopompus, 115, 161, 311: of 
Chios, pupil of Isocrates and a 
distinguished historian, born 
376 b.c. 

Theorian, 251 : an epithet of 
Apollo. 

Theia, 287 : an island in the 
southern Cyclades, now 8an- 
torin. 

Therasia, 287 : a small island near 
Thera. 

Thermopylae 395. 

514 



Thesmophoria, 161 : a festival al 
Athens. 

Thessalian, 291. 

ThessaliaDS, 247, 297, 467. 

Thessaly, 173, 389. 

Thracian, 379, 439. 

Thrasybulus, 3l9 : son of Deino- 
menes, tyrant of Syracuse for 
eleven months in 4t>6 b.c, suc- 
ceeding his brother Hiero. 

Thrasymedes, 497 : a man of 
Heraea. 

Thucydides, 307 : Athenian his- 
torian, born 471 b.c. 

Thueris, 47 : concubine of Typhon. 

Tiberius Caesar, 403 : emperor of 
Rome 14-37 a.d. 

Timarchus, 309 : an Athenian slain 
by Procles of Epidaurus. 

Timocharis, 305 : an astronomer. 

Timotheus, 69 : expositor of the 
sacred law at the court of 
Ptolemy Soter. 

Titans, 61, 87, 413. 

Triphyllians, 57 : a mythical people 
described by Euhemerus. 

Tritons, 177. 

Troglodytes, 353 : Cave - dwellers 
on the west shore of the Ked 
Sea. 

Trojan War, 113. 

Trojans, 287, 319. 

Trosobius, 413: a ruler of the 
Solymi. 

Troy, 437, 489. 

Tybi, 123; an Egyptian month 
(January). 

Tyndareus, 437 : husband of Leda 
father or foster-father of the 
Dioscuri, Helen, and Clyte- 
mnestra. 

Typhon, 9, 19, 21, 33, 35, 39, 45- 
49. 53, 55, 59, 61, *>5, 67, 71-81, 
89, 93-101, 105-109, 121-125, 129, 
137, 141, 143, 147-151, 167-171- 
413 : Greek name of the Egyptiat 
god S*t. 

Typhonian, 149. 

Typhonians, 171. 

T> phons, 413. 

Uranus, 418. 

Venus, 455 : the planet. 



INDEX 



World Travels, 17: 

Eudoxus. 



a work of 



Xenocbates, 61, 63, 387, 399: of 
Cha'cedon, pupil of Plato, suc- 
ceeded Speu-ippus as head of the 
Academy; 339-314 B.C. 

Xenoplianes, 163, 305: of Colo- 
phon, founder of the Eleatic 
school of philosophy ; second 
half of the Oth century b.c. 

Xenophon, 321 : Athenian his- 
torian ; 430-360 (?) B.C. 



Xo'i's, 105 : an island-city of Lower 
Egypt. 



Zaoreus, 223: a cult name of 

Dionysus and Apollo. 
Zen, 435 : a name of Zeus. 
Zens, 7, 25, 33, 75, 89, 91, 117, 

125, 149, 177, 301, 381, 435-439, 

4.U. 
Zoroaster, 113, 379 : Zarathustra. 

the reputed founder of the 

Persian religion. 



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